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TMCNet:  Concerned about privacy? Wait till you see the future

[September 18, 2010]

Concerned about privacy? Wait till you see the future

(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) intel is working on reading human brain Scott Shuey Business Features Editor San Francisco If you think complaints about privacy concerns are rampant now, wait until you see what Intel is working on.

The chipmaker's chief technology officer, Justin Rattner, showed audiences at the Intel Developers Forum last Wednesday a number of technologies that do everything from monitor how you walk to how you use a TV remote. The company is even working on technology that can read the human brain.

Futuristic companions The technologies aren't yet part of any product, but come within what is known as Intel's context-based computing. The company wants to develop this technology, Rattner said, so people will change how they view their devices, and see them less as gadgets and more as assistants or even companions.

Lama Nachman, an Intel lab researcher, said that technology monitoring how a person walks could be used to help monitor seniors by predicting life-threating falls before they happen. On the entertainment side, TV remote controls will be able to tell which member of the household is using it, simply by the way that person holds and uses the remote, and offer recommendations on what to watch. The company is looking to accomplish this with a mix of hard sensors, such as camera and GPS, which include browsing and social networks.

Travel apps One company, Fodors, a publisher of travel guides, said context-based computers would be useful in helping develop online travel apps, especially as they could monitor where a person was, what he liked, and what he was looking for. Tim Jarrell, vice-president and publisher of Fodor's Travel, said current apps just aren't working.

"We're not impressed with technology, with what's out there, and consumers don't seem willing to pay for the travel applications that are out there." However, an application that could recommend restaurants or places to see would have commercial interest for the company. Jarrell said, on average, consumers would be willing to pay $20 (Dh73) for just such a technology.

However, Intel's contextual-computing isn't available yet. "We haven't decided what to do with it from a commercial point of view," Rattner said.

"I would point out that the context engine was developed by a team in the software and services group ... not in the labs. And we did that way intentionally, so that if the project proved successful, they would be able to take it to market." Bloomberg Brave new world Justin Rattner, vice president and chief technology officer of Intel, addresses the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday. Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, will get its latest chip design into personal computers by early next year.

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