Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On the road again: IDF, day 1

The conference kicked off today with an opening keynote from Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.  "BK," as many of the folks here call him, did a good job of laying out Intel's vision of the future and the company's plans for the next few years.  Intel, like most tech companies today, is a firm believer in the coming Internet of Things (IoT), a concept that basically means more and more things will be connected in some way to the Internet.  BK cited estimates of 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020--only six years away.  The IoT is important for the tech industry because each of those 50 billion things will need processors, storage, and other hardware, plus software to drive it all.  They will also need back-end data center/cloud support.  I don't have enough data to support or argue with the 50 billion figure, but it feels in the right ballpark to me, and I do believe the IoT is at this point inevitable. 

Closer to the present, BK brought out colleagues who demonstrated Intel's work to remove all wires from PCs, tablets, and smartphones.  Wireless connections to monitors will remove that plug from your PC to a big screen, and inductive chargers will remove the need for power cords.  This particular set of products can't come too soon for me, because like so many who work in tech, I have a huge collection of cables of all sorts. 

Michael Dell joined BK on stage late in the presentation to show off a lovely, super-thin new tablet, a member of the upcoming (in November) Dell Venue 8 7000 family of tablets.  This one features Intel's RealSense technology, which supports 3D imaging and which software can use to do things like taking a picture of a sofa and immediately and accurately showing the sofa's width on screen--an application they demonstrated on a live unit. 

All in all, the mood of BK's address and the audience reactions were both upbeat, and the tech year ahead from Intel promises to be an exciting one.

I should have mentioned that before the address, Kawehi, a young musician, performed live for us.  I quite liked her music, and though I didn't know it before today, I'm now going to look for more.

I met with a lot of folks and so had time to attend only one other session, a technical presentation on All-in-One systems.  I'm a fan of these for certain uses, and so, apparently, is a big chunk of the buying market.

After touring the industry showcase and talking with folks here, I remain optimistic about the tech industry.  More great products and technologies will definitely be hitting the market over the next year.

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