Intel's Craig Raymond displays the Project Alloy virtual reality headset. [Credit: Intel Corporation]

Intel shares its vision for 'merged reality'

Intel’s CEO shared how his company plans to play a unique role in pushing the boundaries of computing at its annual developer forum.

At the 2016 Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich opened the event by discussing his vision for ‘merged reality’ – a new way to experience real and virtual environments through next-gen sensing and digitising technologies.

“Merged reality delivers virtual world experiences more dynamically and naturally than ever before – and makes experiences impossible in the real world now possible,” he highlighted.

Krzanich unveiled Intel’s reality (VR) device, Project Alloy, which he cited would completely redefine what was possible with an all-in-one VR platform. Featuring sensors directly integrated into the headset and leveraging Intel’s RealSense technology, optimised for VR, the headset is cable-free, giving free range of movement while collision detection sensors allow you to interact with elements from both the real and virtual world more safely.

By offering up Project Alloy as an open hardware platform next year, Krzanich hopes to see exciting new ideas, experience and content appear that will allow the concept of ‘merged reality’ to expand.

Intel’s RealSense technology also appears in its newly launched Joule platform. Designed for the Internet of Things (IoT) market, this high performance, lower power system-on-module is ideal for applications requiring abundant compute power, but with limited space for hardware such as VR and augmented reality (AR) devices, drones, autonomous robots and micro-servers.

It offers the capability of delivering human-like senses to the latest smart devices. Developers can build devices that capture rich depth of field information, which can be processed to create a high level of computer intelligence about the environment and objects within it, making a ‘thing’ capable of autonomous behaviour.

Examples of its capabilities, which included examples of ‘merged reality’, were showcased at the event, such as AR industrial safety glasses designed for use by Airbus engineers, a conversational bartending robot developed to provide companionship to the elderly in Japan and a heads-up display helmet created to improve the safety of highway policemen.

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