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Intel reveals future plans for third gen Core ultrabooks

Signs agreements with four Taiwanese panel suppliers
Tue Jun 05 2012, 13:31
Intel Ivy Bridge processor

CHIP MAKER Intel has said it is "putting its money where its mouth is" in delivering innovations to its upcoming third generation Core ultrabooks that will run the Windows 8 operating system (OS).

Speaking at Computex in Taipei today, Intel's vice president of datacenter and connected systems group Kirk Skaugen announced that the company has signed agreements with four Taiwanese panel suppliers - Cando, HannsTouch Solution, TPK Holdings and Wintek Corpto - to ensure "capacity" for touch technology.

As well as pumping money primarily into enabling touch-screen displays across most of its Ultrabook products, Intel said it is working on a series of "innovations".

Skaugen said these planned innovations are because "users love touch" and also because the firm believes that Microsoft's Windows 8 release later this year will make ultrabooks "more popular".

Skaugen demonstrated several of these future ultrabook "innovations" at the seminar, as well as how they can be adapted into all-in-ones PCs.

One new feature in particular will see "touch-to-unlock" on ultrabook login screens instead of a text based password, so users can login with a hand free to do whatever they like with. There's also an option to log in with your face, if prefered. Sound familiar?

Another planned feature is the addition of various sensors, the first being theft protection technology. This detects when a user has left their ultrabook unattended in a coffee shop, for example. If picked up by a pesky thief, alarms will sound and the computer's data will be locked down.

Another nifty feature planned is a wireless charging option that brings those unreliable smartphone batteries back to life while laid down next to the Ultrabook, as well as Siri style voice activation control powered by Nuance's Dragon software.

For those of us less well off, Skaugen also announced that over the course of the year Intel plans to make changes to how ultrabooks are manufactured, replacing some ultrabook chassis materials with a tougher plastic as opposed to more expensive metals, meaning prices could be brought down to £699 instead of the £899 average seen today.

When asked, Skaugen wouldn't stipulate how much money the company are plowing into enabling touch on as many Ultrabooks as possible, but said it's an extension of the $300 million Intel Capital Ultrabook Fund - set up to invest in companies so that they'll build more exciting computing devices for Intel to stick its shiny Ultrabook stamp on.  µ


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