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Internet changing consumer electronics world: Intel chief

by Staff Writers
Las Vegas (AFP) Jan 7, 2008
The Internet is a magnificent "disruptive force" changing the world's gadgets along with lifestyles, computer giant Intel's top executive said Monday at the top consumer electronics show.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) abounds with televisions and other devices that link directly to the Internet, bypassing computers, making gadgets smarter and increasingly interconnected, said Intel chief executive Paul Otellini.

"The Internet is a disruptive force that is changing the consumer electronics industry," Otellini said, in a speech wrapping up the first day of the CES event in Las Vegas that ends Thursday.

"I submit we are just getting started," the head of the world's largest computer chip maker said.

"The next generation is the Internet coming to us instead of us going to the Internet."

Otellini demonstrated a prototype handheld device that combined satellite positioning technology with translation software, image recognition and mobile Internet connectivity.

The gizmo can determine where it is, download the applicable maps and language information and essentially act as a personal tour guide, translator and local business reference guide.

In a demonstration, the device translated restaurant and street signs in a faux Chinese stage setting after being pointed towards them.

"Doing things like real-time translation and augmented reality will require exponentially more powerful processors that are also exponentially using less power," Otellini said.

To fulfill the promise of "personal Internet" people can take wherever they go will take not only faster computer chips but ubiquitous, reliable broadband Internet access, he added.

"Eventually, we will blanket the globe with wireless connectivity."

Also needed are better "natural interface" technologies that let people command devices using gestures, words and even body movement, according to Otellini.

"Think of the Nintendo Wii," he said, referring to the Japanese electronics giant's coveted video game console with motion-sensing controllers. "The popularity lies not in the graphics, but in the motion."

As these technologies come together, computerized virtual worlds such as Second Life will "take another step up" with people's in-game proxies resembling them and mirroring their real-world movements, Otellini predicted.

He called Smashmouth front man Steve Pederson to the stage and used technologies by start-ups eJamming, BigStage and Organic Motion to orchestrate "the world's first virtual jam session."

Animated versions of Pederson and his band mates, each in different parts of the world, played one of their hits in an online replication of his garage.

"Wow, that's amazing," Pederson blurted. "The cool thing is not having to be in the same room."

Otellini urged electronics makers to fulfill his vision and advised them to take advantage of the business opportunities it holds.

"You may argue over when this will happen, but I believe it is inevitable," Otellini said. "More and more industries are going to be transformed."

CES continues Tuesday with nearly 3,000 electronics, Internet and software companies showing off their latest innovations and forums with industry insiders and government policy makers.

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Taiwan handheld device shipments to surge: consultancy
Taipei (AFP) Dec 23, 2007
Taiwan likely shipped 6.2 million smart handheld devices in the fourth quarter, up 81.7 percent on last year partly because it produces Apple's iPhone, an IT consulting firm said Sunday.







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