Intel CEO Krzanich Shows Off Smart Shirt, Robot
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is continuing to stress the chip maker's push into such growth areas as wearable devices, embedded systems and the mobile space.
During an appearance May 28 at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Krzanich reportedly showed off a "smart shirt" made with a company called AiQ that includes sensors that can monitor the wearer's heartbeat and other vital signs. It's battery operated and will be available this summer, the CEO said, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In addition, Krzanich at the show, which is hosted by tech news site ReCode, demonstrated a customizable robot called Jimmy made via 3D printing. Intel plans to offer a research version of the kit that will include an Intel Core i5 processor and sell for about $16,000. However, Intel also will offer a consumer model for $1,600. That robot will be powered by Edison, a low-power computer running on a Quark chip that Intel is aiming at embedded systems and the Internet of things. The robot kits, which are open-source, are due later this year.
The shirt and robots are part of Intel's efforts to expand into growth markets. Since becoming CEO a year ago, Krzanich has said often—and did again at the conference—that Intel missed the industry transition away from traditional PCs and toward mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. Under Krzanich, Intel has become more aggressive in expanding its product portfolios and pursuing new markets.
The company also still has its focus on the mobile space, where Krzanich has said he expects to see 40 million Intel-based tablets ship this year, a jump from 10 million in 2013.
"It's all about becoming market driven, and we'll go where the market goes," the CEO said during an interview with CNBC. "As you've seen Android grow, we've gone out and gotten into Android. We're still the only company that can go [Apple] iOS, [Google] Chrome, Android, Windows, all of those on the same device."
Intel executives have been talking up wearable devices for more than a year, but the company will face tough competition from ARM and its growing set of partners, including Qualcomm, which already offers a smartwatch called the Toq.