It takes the wraps off ‘Edison’, a tiny computer

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, on Monday, demonstrated the company’s wearable computing devices after showing off the results of the chip-maker’s initial foray into gadgets such as smart-watches and ear buds that monitor a user’s heart-rate.

The company has struggled over the last few years to beat rivals Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics, which have adapted to the smartphone era more quickly and efficiently.

“We are looking at the broad ecosystem of wearables, not just the device. They [wearable devices] aren’t everywhere yet because they aren’t solving real problems. We’re focussing on addressing this challenge,” said Mr. Krzanich, in his keynote presentation at the International Consumer Electronics (CES) show.

The idea of wearable or intimate computing has become one of the major themes of the International CES, especially as smartphones and tablets have largely spun out of the show’s ambit in the recent past.

For instance, Intel’s dabbling in smart-watches has resulted in a prototype that is meant for kids, and comes along with ‘geo-fencing’ capabilities. Put simply, the digital watch will allow parents to monitor their children as they walk back from school, and will sound an alert if the kids deviate from established walking routes.

The company also took the wraps off ‘Edison’, a tiny computer that is built on Intel’s 22 nanometre transistor technology.

To put it in scale, a typical germ is about 1,000 nanometres.

Mr. Krzanich hopes that Edison will be used to build the next generation of wearable and connected devices.

Among the quirky examples that were showed off was Edison being used in a tiny toy frog. If the frog hears a baby crying, it would set off a signal by which a milk-warmer would switch on and have milk ready and heated for the mother.

— A. S.