User awareness holds the key for success

At its recent developers’ forum, Intel outlined long-term research to make electronic products smarter, safer and capable of adapting to the way people use them around the world.

At its recent developers’ forum, Intel outlined long-term research to make electronic products smarter, safer and capable of adapting to the way people use them around the world.

The chip giant spoke about "user-aware” platforms for such technologies that could be used to build systems that respond intuitively to people and their ever-changing needs.

According to Justin Rattner, Intel senior fellow and director of Intel's Corporate Technology Group, current electronic products have almost no way of knowing how they are being used, who is using them, or what the user wants to accomplish without that person directing their every move. This, he said, leads to frustration because of all the things people have to do just to use and manage their technology.

Instead, said Rattner, the future of electronics will be driven by the need for simpler, more intuitive ways of dealing with technologies that in turn help people do what they want to do. To achieve this will require a new generation of user-aware platform technologies.

"A user-aware platform will be any device that can take care of itself, knows who we are, where we are - and tries to anticipate what we want done," Rattner said.

"They will need digital senses to be aware of their surroundings and what they are doing. They will also need new levels of intelligence to understand our needs and collaborate with other electronics to take action on our behalf while doing no harm in the process."

To achieve these aims, Intel concedes that user-aware systems will require new levels of intelligence and place new demands on the way the industry develops hardware, software, services and interfaces. Intel said it is already evolving its processor architectures towards supercomputer-like performance by employing multiple processing cores in each processor. Intel envisions putting hundreds of energy-efficient computing cores inside a single processor.

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