Intel Brings IoT, Wire-Free Computing Tech to Computex
Intel for the past few years has been aggressive in growing its IoT capabilities, and according to officials, it's paying off. At the company's annual shareholder meeting in March, CEO Brian Krzanich said that last year the IoT unit grew 19 percent over 2013, becoming a $2 billion business. The company also pushed forward with its vision for wire-free computing. Officials are making a significant push to create technologies that free computers from everything from wires for charging them to cables for connecting them to peripherals. The upcoming Skylake chips will offer a range of features that will enable this, but at Computex, Intel introduced Unite. The software works with mini-PCs powered by Intel's latest Core vPro processors to enable devices like notebooks—armed with the Unite software—to connect wirelessly to projectors, displays and other peripherals. Company officials argue that too much time and productivity are lost in meetings as people try to find the right cables to hook their PCs into other systems in order to display their presentations and enable people to collaborate. "Intel employees spend 17 million minutes in teleconferences every year, and countless more in face-to-face meetings," Mark Densham, IT director of collaboration and productivity at Intel, wrote in a post on the company blog. "Businesses around the globe can relate to the above 'dongle hell' scenario, where meetings are delayed by having to set up conference bridges and connect multiple devices."Hewlett-Packard this week introduced the Collaboration PC, a mini-PC that includes Core vPro chips that support the Unite software. In addition, Densham wrote that the solution can be used with Intel's NUC mini-PC. In addition, the chip vendor is working with Chinese companies around wire-free initiatives, including partnering with Targus to deliver wireless charging solutions based on the Rezence standard and with Haier to develop wireless charging solutions to such places as restaurants, hotels and airports in the country later this year. Intel also is working with other members of the A4WP wireless charging standards group, as well as Foxconn Interconnect, Basecom, BYD and Primax, to offer wireless charging solutions to the market this year.
Intel has the Unite solution installed in about 100 conference rooms with plans to expand it to 350 by the end of July, Densham said, adding that "there appears to be an almost insatiable demand by employees for the solution—which is always very satisfying to see as an IT professional."