CES 2013: Intel Debuts its Perceptual Computing Technology

Intel introduced its “perceptual computing” technology at this year’s CES. The company hopes it will help users switch between keyboards, trackpads, touchscreens, voice commands and gestures with ease — or even lead to simultaneous use. The new interface, designed to augment current methods of interaction, could help keep laptops alive if intuitive applications are developed.

“At first glance, it looks like little more than a me-too version of Microsoft’s Kinect: clip a camera-like peripheral onto your Ultrabook, and presto, instant gestural interface!” reports Technology Review. “But unlike Kinect, or competitors like Leap Motion, perceptual computing isn’t a specific product or platform. Instead, like ‘cloud computing,’ it’s an open-ended vision for what computers should be able to do.”

“We’re not trying to replace anything. We’re just trying to augment existing modes of interaction,” explained Barry Solomon, product planner and strategist at Intel. “We’re adding senses to the computer’s brain so it can perceive its surroundings, who’s interacting with it, and make those interactions more intuitive.” 

“We want to go beyond simply delivering technology,” added Solomon. “The tech world has morphed into delivering experiences.”

“I find it gratifying that a company like Intel is turning its attention to this, because the future is about creating a harmonious plurality of [human-computer] interactions,” said John Underkoffler,  gestural computing expert and chief scientist of Oblong Industries and inventor of the “”Minority Report” interface.

“With its open-ended SDK, Intel has made a great start on the plurality,” suggests the article. “The harmonious part, however, still has a long way to go.”