The Intel Developer Forum is happening over the next couple days, and was kicked off by a keynote by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shedding light on a new wireless virtual reality (VR) headset dubbed Project Alloy.
Project Alloy is part of a greater focus on what Intel is calling Merged Reality. He also introduced Intel Joule, a sophisticated maker board with an Intel RealSense depth-sensing camera targeted at Internet of Things (IoT) developers.
Merged Reality is the shiniest of the projects featured during the keynote. Merged Reality involves an untethered, wireless VR headset with depth sensing and five-finger tracking thanks to a forward-facing RealSense camera that enables you to walk around a given space and use your real hands to manipulate the environment.
Sentiment among Intel’s development partners coming in to the conference hinted at a strong desire to hear more about Intel’s involvement with the advancement of IoT technologies. “I think the channel gets lots of focus from other manufacturers in the areas of [high-performance computing] and enthusiast, so the segment they need more guidance in is IoT,” said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, a Fremont, Calif.-based Intel system builder recently told CRN. “This is not to say that Intel shouldn’t or doesn’t provide guidance for other categories, just that IoT is the one that is still more immature or open in terms of where the channel fits.”
Joule should spur lots of IoT prototyping
Intel didn’t leave attendees without an answer. Intel Joule features the company’s RealSense camera technology highlighted in the Project Alloy concept, in a small development kit that developers and entrepreneurs can use to quickly prototype a variety of IoT applications that can take advantage of this technology.
According to Intel:
Several Intel partners such as Microsoft and GE are demonstrating potential applications of this technology this week at IDF, including French company PivotHead which built augmented reality safety glasses for Airbus employees.
Another of the primary areas where developers are hoping to hear more is in the area of 5G wireless communications. Intel recently expanded on the importance of 5G to the next generation of connected devices, and with the White House announcing a $400 million initiative to aid in the research and development of a solid 5G standard, it stands to reason that many of its development partners are expecting Intel to shed light on its intentions during the forum.