Celebrating national Inventor’s Day today, Intel is also recognizing the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest inventions of our time, the integrated circuit from Intel’s own Robert Noyce. Inspired by Noyce and my fellow Intel “inventors” I’m providing my five predictions for how technology innovation will change the world.1. Ultimate in Green Computing Advances in power optimization will enable Intel to find new ways to identify and harness sources of power for consumer electronics devices that don’t pull from the electrical grid, representing the ultimate in green computing. Imagine devices that will extract “free energy” from the environment. 2. Live, Work and Play Better Through advances in Intel multi-core computing and sensor technology, computers may be able to recognize faces, buildings and other objects. Your TV remote control would know who is holding it and automatically bring up a selection of your favorite programs. As future Intel chips scale from a few cores to many, mainstream supercomputers could deliver movie-quality visual computing effects including life-like 3-D environments that you could experience in real-time. 3. Human-Like and Microscopic Robotics Imagine home robots that do more than just vacuum the floor or behave like a pet dinosaur. These future home-bots may empty the dishwasher and fold your socks. Most importantly, they may be capable of learning to move and use arbitrary objects, sense and recognize movement around them and learn to adapt to new situations. Some will be too tiny for the naked eye. Imagine millions of these micro-robots, each called a catom, that would assemble themselves into arbitrarily shaped objects to move, change color and shape all on their own. A handheld computer might fold into a tiny space in your pocket, reassemble itself into the shape of a mobile phone to make a call or send a text, or become large and flat with a keyboard and large display for browsing the Internet. 4. Wireless Everything: Carry Small, Live Large Ubiquitous wireless technology may allow you to enjoy a “large” experience from your small personal devices. Your phone or mobile Internet device would automatically find and compose itself with other display, storage and compute resources in its vicinity. Video content would stream automatically from your handheld device to the screens in your car or a flat-screen display on the wall of your family room. 5. Connected Computing Improves Health Care Imagine a sensor network – dozens, hundreds or even thousands of tiny, battery-powered computers – that are scattered throughout a home to collect data and then send it to a specified destination where it is processed for further analysis. This data could be used to enhance the quality of life for elders by allowing them to stay in their homes instead of moving to institutional care. The data may also help improve healthcare through prevention and early detection of disease, lower healthcare costs and ease the burden on family members and other caregivers. My advice for other inventors is that the future will be that of our own invention. As Noyce is famous for saying, “go off and do something wonderful.” Justin Rattner Intel Senior Fellow Chief Technology Officer
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