LAS VEGAS—The Internet is about to become more personal and interactive, and Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that his company is beginning to overcome some of the obstacles that stand in the way for this new vision of the Web.
At the 2008 International CES Jan. 7, Otellini described an Internet that will evolve in another three to five years to become much more personal and respond to the needs of users far beyond what search engines such as Google and Yahoo do now.
Otellini pointed to the amount of devices—including televisions, set-top boxes and stereos—on display at the 2008 CES that connect to the Internet with or without the use of a traditional PC. This is creating new ways for consumers to think about the Internet and new ways to interact with the Web in their daily lives.
The days of the "go-to" Internet, where users connect to the Web and use search engines to find what they are looking for, are coming to end.
"In this model, the Internet reacts to our requests rather than anticipating them," Otellini said. "The next evolution of the Internet is moving away from that model. Instead of going to the Internet, the Internet is going to come to us. … I'm talking about bringing a new level of capability and usefulness to the Internet. You have to think about a more personal Internet—one that is proactive, predictive and context-aware."
To fulfill this vision, Intel as a company is moving toward developing new mobile platforms that will help people connect in more places. In the weeks leading up the CES, Intel executives talked about a new platform for MIDs (mobile Internet devices) called "Menlow," which will include a new 45-nanometer processor called Silverthorne. In addition, the Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker announced it will refresh its Centrino mobile platform with new 45-nanometer Penryn chips.
The challenges that Otellini sees in creating this type of personal Internet include issues such as silicon technology, wireless connectivity, security and changing the way people interact with the Internet.
The first two challenges are being addressed by Intel, according to Otellini. The company's new method of shrinking microprocessors using a Hafnium-based processor technology will continue through the next 10 years. The company is also continuing its investment in WiMax technology, which Intel believes is a better alternative to 3G technology.
While Intel is working on those specific parts of the new Internet, Otellini added that the industry is moving toward making personal information more secure and creating new and more personal ways of interacting with the Internet.
To demonstrate the vision of this new Internet, Otellini was joined on stage by Steve Harwell, lead singer of the band Smash Mouth, and the two went step by step to create a virtual, three-dimensional stage where band members interacted and performed a mini-concert despite being in different locations.
These various developments, and the type of Internet they will create, will shape both the future of consumer electronics and enterprise IT technology.
"You may argue when this will happen, by I think it's inevitable," Otellini said. "As the Internet becomes more powerful, more connected, more natural, more personal, more and more industries are going to be transformed. Why? Very simply, more people are going to demand a seamless experience regardless of the activity, location or device that they use."