Intel Products Pique Interest At CES

Despite all the big-name hardware companies with their latest and greatest laptops, desktops and tablets I saw at the recent 2015 International CES, the one that stood out the most wasn’t even a computer.

Intel’s Compute Stick is a tiny plug-in that is pre-installed with Windows 8.1 or Linux and gives you a complete experience on this ultra-small, power-efficient device. It consists of tablet hardware and plugs into your HDMI port, which does offer you a PC experience in a tiny space.

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Intel® Curie™ module button-sized prototype (The Intel® Curie™ module has not yet been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. These devices are not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained) PHOTO COURTESY INTEL

Compute Stick is about the size of Google Chromecast, and has a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735F processor, a Bay CPU typically found in Intel-powered Android tablets, built-in wireless connectivity, onboard storage (16GB Linux/32GB Windows) and a micro SD card slot for additional storage (up to 128GB).

It also comes equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, so you can pair a keyboard and mouse.

Unfortunately, the Stick can’t draw power from its HDMI port, so it needs to be plugged in via a Micro-USB cable.

Intel will be selling it directly, and it is not intended to replace your tablet or laptop. Seems like it will be great for the traveler or onthe-go individual who just needs the essentials without having to spend too much money on a higher-end device. It has just enough to let you be productive: Browse the Web, stream media (e.g., Netflix, Hulu) and play games. As long as you have an HDMI port, you’re good to go.

Plus, on the business side, this is a great solution for kiosks and other displays.

Expect to see the Compute Stick in March, and it’ll be $89 for the Linux version or $149 for the Windows 8.1 version (with Bing).


Intel’s Curie: Button-Sized Hardware For Wearables

One of the products that came out of Intel’s press conference was the Curie module, a button-sized hardware product for wearable solutions.

It’s a product based on the company’s first purpose-built system-on-chip for wearable devices.

Curie is scheduled to ship in the second half of this year, and includes the Intel Quark SE SoC Bluetooth low-energy radio, motion sensors and battery charging.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off Curie during his keynote address at CES as he plucked a button off his jacket, explaining that Curie was in the button. He stated that Curie will run for extended periods of time on a coin-sized battery, and even pulled his phone out of his pocket to show that Curie actually is functional. The display indicated that he took 1,788 steps during the keynote.

The company sees wearables as one of the most important categories in consumer electronics — not a surprise, since that seemed to be a main theme at CES. With this growth, Intel sees a new playing field for innovation. It partnered with various companies, including

Basis Peak, Fossil Group, Luxottica Group, MICA, Oakley, Opening Ceremony, Ray-Ban and SMS Audio.

This is a way forward to make “truly consumer-friendly” smart glasses. I can’t wait to see this unfold, since I love to wear sunglasses.

clickchick@outlook.com