Intel CTO: Future smartphones will be our ‘companions’


16 Sep 2010

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Intel CTO Justin Rattner has claimed that in the future, smartphones will react to your mood and televisions will be able to tell it’s you who is watching.

Speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, he said handheld devices could fuse existing geographical technology with data from microphones, cameras, heart and body monitors and brain scans to offer contextual advice to the owner.

"Imagine a device that uses a variety of sensory modalities to determine what you are doing at an instant, from being asleep in your bed to being out for a run with a friend," Rattner said.

At the forum, Rattner demonstrated a television remote control that can work out who is holding it based on how it’s held and then learns the viewer’s entertainment preferences.

"The question is, how do we change the relationship so we change these devices from just devices to assistants or even companions?" said Rattner.

"We believe context-aware computing is poised to fundamentally change the way we relate to and react to devices. Future devices will constantly learn your habits, the way you go throughout your day.

“They’ll understand your friends and how you’re feeling. Maybe more importantly, they’ll know where you’re going and anticipate your needs," he said.

Rattner noted that privacy concerns and people’s willingness to have such a relationship with their devices will need to be resolved before this future technology happens.

"If you think identity threat is a problem today, imagine when your whole context is readily available on the net," he said.

Intel is planning on releasing its own range of smartphones in 2011, set to rival Apple and BlackBerry in the market.

Analysts feel, however, that Intel will struggle to get its microchips into new phones. Nividia, Marvell and Qualcomm have made headway with cheap, lower-powered processors based on designs by ARM Holdings.