In a blog post today, Intel announced its planned acquisition of Movidius, a "vision" chip manufacturer that focuses on low-power hardware and algorithms to give machines sight. Having seen a market for its technology at its founding, Movidius set out to develop its own processing architecture to tackle large workloads and image processing while keeping expenditure low. This eventually became the company's Vision Processing Units (VPU), which allow for tracking, navigation, and mapping all while sipping at power. Because of the success in its endeavors, the company was able to partner with some big names in the tech space, including Google and its Project Tango. Read More
If you have ever used Linux, Mac, or another *nix operating system, you've probably heard of Wine. No, not the beverage - it's software that allows Windows programs to run on platforms that aren't Windows. Wine is one of my favorite open-source projects, under development since 1993 and having a massive community of developers and testers. Wine also maintains a database of compatible programs, which should give you an idea of the impressive compatibility.
CrossOver is essentially a commercial version of Wine, offering technical support and easier configuration of programs. Almost three years after development started on CrossOver for Android, CodeWeavers (the company responsible for CrossOver) is finally sharing a working preview on Google Play. Read More
Intel hasn't been very fortunate in the smartphone chipset business. Despite dominating the personal computing semiconductor space, the company failed to gain traction in mobile in time and struggled to catch up afterward despite trying to crack the entry code from different angles: wearables, IoT, tablets, phones, and so on. Eventually, Intel sort of threw in the towel and decided to close its Atom business and take its time to regroup and think of other ways to tackle the issue.
Its foundry business seems to be the key. See, aside from offering platforms and architectures for chipsets, Intel also has a small side business, Intel Custom Foundry, which produces chipsets for other chipmakers. Read More
After years of insignificant adoption among manufacturers, Intel is apparently throwing in the towel on smartphone chips. The company's ultra-low-power Atom line of processors has had a tough time competing with low-cost players like MediaTek and, obviously, the incumbent mobile SoC juggernaut, Qualcomm.
Specifically, Intel is cancelling the upcoming Broxton platform and the already-delayed SoFIA fully-integrated mobile chipset, both of which were slotted in the "Atom x3" family and designed specifically for smartphones and tablets. The tablet-focused Atom x5 and x7 currently based on the Cherry Trail platform will continue to ship, though it is unclear if that platform's successor - Willow Trail - will enter production or if it, too, has been axed (Intel did not comment on Willow Trail, as it was not expected to ship for some time). Read More
Part of the attraction of things like laser tag and paintball is that they bring the team-based combat that's become so popular in online shooters into the real world. After some notable success with its embedded heads-up display for snowboarders, Recon Instruments (recently acquired by Intel) is bringing a modified version of the Android-based system to the enthusiast paintball market. The Empire EVS "smart mask" includes a tiny Google Glass-style display in the visor that relays various bits of battlefield information to the player. Read More
When big companies buy small companies, there's always a chance that the smaller company will more or less disappear, along with its products. Some good examples in the mobile space would be HP's acquisition of Palm or Microsoft's similar purchase of Nokia. Not all tech companies do this - Amazon and Facebook seem to be pretty hands-off with their acquisitions - but Intel certainly does. Less than a year after Intel acquired the company that makes popular password manager PasswordBox, the company announced via its blog that the product will be abandoned sometime in 2016.
The PasswordBox team is already working on Intel's similar service, True Key, and they'll be transitioning both team members and software features over to the Intel side. Read More
Fossil has officially given the Android Wear-powered device that it's making in conjunction with Intel a name—the Q Founder.
As you might expect, it's a large and ostentatious creation. And unlike most other circular smartwatches these days, it comes with a Moto 360-style flat tire. Fossil doesn't seem too keen on showing off this particular watch, a pattern that led to confusion the last time we covered this device.
Its most recent blog post makes no mention of Android Wear and instead shows off its other connected electronics: the Q Grant (a more traditional looking watch capable of delivering alerts) and two activity trackers, the Q Dreamer and Q Reveler. Read More
This past spring we heard that an upcoming partnership between Google, Intel, and TAG Heuer would result in a high-end Android Wear smartwatch. At that point, the rumors said it would be shipping in October or November and that it would come with a hefty price tag of $1400. Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of TAG, told CNBC yesterday that the company would be unveiling its new smartwatch at an event on November 9th in New York.
The price of the Carrera 01 will be $1800, which is a bit above what was previously reported. This is by far the most expensive Wear watch to date, with the closest being the $800 Huawei Watch. Biver says that he believes the Carrera 01 will sell just fine at this price point, considering how well the similarly priced Apple Watches have done over the past few months. Read More
Android Wear watches have come a long way in such a short period of time. Though the first wave of devices included the plastic, Pebble-looking LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, these days we have the LG Urbane and the Huawei Watch. Read More
Amidst news that Google has adopted a new logo (and everything that comes along with that), Sundar Pichai let slip that Google is joining the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Netflix, and others to form the Alliance for Open Media (AOM). The organization's goal is to collaborate on open and royalty-free digital formats for "next-generation ultra high definition media." In other words, it will develop new image, audio, and video codecs and container formats that are totally free for non-commercial and commercial use.
The Alliance’s initial focus is to deliver a next-generation video format that is:
- Interoperable and open;
- Optimized for the web;
- Scalable to any modern device at any bandwidth;
- Designed with a low computational footprint and optimized for hardware;
- Capable of consistent, highest-quality, real-time video delivery; and
- Flexible for both commercial and non-commercial content, including user-generated content.