What do a floppy cardboard sign, a high-speed train, and an old Scotsman with high blood pressure have in common? Yeah, that sounds a bit like a bad joke I might tell in a pub, but the answer is: they are all potential candidates for using Intel technology.
Most people think about Intel as the company that makes the brains of most PCs: laptops, servers and desktops. That’s true, we do. But increasingly Intel products can be found inside things as diverse as ATMs, industrial robots, security cameras, and even fancy tractors. Intel chips help to make our cars faster, safer and cheaper—crash-testing and wind tunnel testing can now be done virtually inside computers rather than spending $250,000 each time you slam a dummy-filled car into a wall at 50MPH. Intel chips were probably used to design and manufacture the clothing you’re wearing right now. Many movie special effects come alive on Intel chips. As a result, whatever our role at Intel, employees here truly feel part of changing the world around us every day.
Let’s go back to my three opening examples: First, the floppy cardboard sign. Imagine a giant cardboard sign, one you might see at the end of an aisle in a giant retail store touting 50% off all knitwear, or “Bananas on sale!” Now think about how those signs got there. It had to be designed, printed, shipped and placed. When it’s no longer needed, the signs then have to be switched out and recycled. That’s a lot of effort for one sign. In a big store, with hundreds of signs, it’s a major headache. Now imagine if that sign went digital. A cheap 42” panel combined with an Intel-based computer that’s connected to a network changes everything. Not only do you eliminate design, printing, shipping and disposal, but now the sign can be full color, animated, instantly updated and more! If you link the sign to your inventory system, you can have your signs automatically update to run a promotion on lines that aren’t selling so well, instantly switch when you sell out of a hot item, and even change based on who is reading it. An intelligent sign can use a camera and recognition software to figure out if a passer-by is looking at it, and even what demographic they are (male, female, rough age, in a group or alone). The sign might change what it’s displaying dependent on the viewer—a promotion on sweaters for men, a notice on a new fragrance for women. Cardboard certainly can’t do that. And advertisers are positively salivating at the thought of knowing how many eyeballs looked at their advertisement today. If that all sounds a bit like a sci-fi movie, it is a bit, only these signs will respect your privacy by never identifying individuals, just rough demographics. So, no need to rush out and have your eyeballs removed yet like Tom Cruise did in “Minority Report.”
Governments around the world are about to invest in high-speed train networks, most notably in China where they plan to build a new high-speed rail system larger than the combined global network today. Thousands of new stations, tens of thousands of new pieces of rolling stock, and a complete IT infrastructure to run it all. This is another example of a great opportunity for technology from Intel and others. Imagine all the touch-screen ticket machines, platform displays showing train times, signaling infrastructure, in-train entertainment systems, not to mention all the tech wizardry embedded inside the control systems needed to keep these trains safely on the tracks at 200MPH. It’s just a ton of technology, and perhaps another area you might not initially think to find Intel Inside.
Finally, spare a thought for the poor old Scottish fellow living with a chronic condition. Let’s call him Robbie. By the way, over 850 million people around the world live with one or more chronic conditions: could be heart disease, COPD, or something else unpleasant like that. Intel technology can now help Robbie live in his home, where he can enjoy a better quality of life, but still be connected to the medical supervision he needs. That lowers costs for everyone involved. A huge win-win. Check out details on the Intel Health Guide to learn more. It can measure Robbie’s blood pressure each day, remind him to take his meds, and even allow him to have a video conference with his nurse or caregiver. I’m not pimping the product to you because it’s not something you can buy, it’s only available via some health providers in some countries. I just think it’s a super cool example of how technology can improve the quality of our lives. And as our population ages, devices like this, whether from Intel or others, are the only way we will be able to manage spiraling health costs as a society, while maintaining quality of care.
I come to work at Intel every day because of stuff like this. It’s great to know that I play a role in building technology that improves our lives. Our little chips, most of them a sliver of silicon roughly the size of your fingernail, are the most complex structures known to man. And they have enabled the creation of incredible tools that make me feel proud of what we do: scientists unlock the mysteries of the universe with giant supercomputers, animators create wonderful movies that we enjoy with our families, meteorologists use high-speed computers to forecast our weather, and I get to have a free video conference each Sunday with my parents who live 5000 miles away back home in England.
Intel Inside means more each day. And I’m sure that the places our technology is heading next—televisions, smartphones and a plethora of other devices—will change the world all over again. I feel like our techno journey has only just begun.
We have a lot of really smart people working here—that’s another reason I love coming to work every day—but we can always use more help. If you are as passionate as I am about what technology can do for people everywhere, and you’re excited by the idea of helping us innovate like crazy so we can keep redefining the future, please take the first step by creating your profile at the Jobs at Intel site, and maybe we’ll get to meet when you take your first position at Intel. I do hope so. Come and join us.