Intel Shows Off the Reach of Its Technologies at CES

The chip maker unveils an array of partnerships to illustrate how its products can be used for everything from sporting events to connected systems.

IoT module

Intel is using CES 2016 this week to further prove that its silicon technologies aren't just for PCs and servers anymore.

Company CEO Brian Krzanich at the same event last year introduced Curie, the tiny development platform for wearable devices like smartwatches, bracelets and eyewear and sensors that help make up the Internet of things (IoT). At CES this year in Las Vegas, Krzanich announced a broad array of partnerships with such companies as ESPN, Red Bull, New Balance and Oakley that showcase myriad ways that Intel technologies—from Curie to the company's RealSense 3D cameras—can be used in a wide array of smart and connected devices.

The chip maker wants to show how its offerings can play a role in multiple aspects of people's lives, according to the CEO.

"There is a rapidly growing role for technology that is at once transformative, unprecedented and accessible," Krzanich said in a statement. "With people choosing experiences over products more than ever before, Intel technology is a catalyst to making amazing new experiences possible, and ultimately improving the world in which we live."

Intel continues to make the bulk of its money from chips used in PCs and servers, but as the global PC market contracts, the company is aggressively moving into a number of growth areas, including the IoT and a broad range of connected devices, from clothing to drones. It has created business units to focus on the IoT and new technologies, and offers a number of development boards—such as Edison, Galileo and Curie—aimed at helping makers and companies develop new connected devices.

At CES, Intel officials used new and expanded partnerships to show the range of the chip maker's technology. They announced that Intel is working with sports media broadcaster EPSN to use the Curie module to add to the viewing experience at the X Games Aspen 2016. Curie—which reportedly will be available this quarter and will cost less than $10—will be integrated into the snowboards used in the men's Slopestyle and Big Air competitions to deliver real-time data on the athletes' performances in such areas as in-air rotations, jump height and distance, and speed. The data can be used by the athletes, on-air announcers and viewers.

Intel also is partnering with Red Bull Media House to put the Curie module into other athletic gear to let users gain greater insight into their performance. More announcements around this partnership are planned for later this year, according to company officials.

In another sports-related alliance, Intel is working with Replay Technologies to improve the viewing experience of fans both at the stadium and at home. Replay has optimized its freed technology for Intel technologies—such as Core processors and server products—to enable users to re-watch moments from the events from multiple angles and to create custom clips that can be shared.

Intel and New Balance will develop connected wearable devices that will help athletes improve their performance. As an example, Krzanich and New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini were on stage wearing running shoes that included customized 3D printed midsoles that used the RealSense technology. In addition, the two said the companies will develop a smartwatch that will be ready for the holiday season at the end of the year.

Intel and Oakley previewed Radar Pace, smart eyewear that offers a voice-activated, real-time coaching system.

Intel's RealSense technology was demonstrated with Typhoon H drones from Yuneec that could avoid colliding with objects onstage, and a Segway device from Ninebot that can transform into a robot. The Ninebot system, running on a low-power Intel Atom chip, uses a RealSense ZR300 camera for navigating its environment. The drones form Yuneec—a small company in China that Intel invested $60 million in last year—will be available in the first half of the year. The Segway robot eventually will become commercially available, and Segway will roll out a development kit in the second half of 2016.

Intel also is working with singer Lady Gaga on a couple of initiatives. The first involves a partnership with The Recording Academy as part of a program that will launch during the week of the Grammy Awards in February. Few details were released, but the goal is to showcase technology's role in creativity.

In addition, Intel plans to work with Vox Media, Re/code and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation in an anti-online harassment effort. Details of the effort will be unveiled Jan. 7, according to Intel.