By Josh Walden
We’re entering an era where devices must be smart and connected. When a device is capable of understanding and responding to its environment, entirely new and unprecedented solutions present themselves.
As part of our RealSense™ vision and strategy, we built and acquired critical technologies to ensure our leadership in computer vision and perceptual computing. Simply put, computer vision enables machines to visually process and understand their surroundings. Cameras serve as the “eyes” of the device, the central processing unit is the “brain,” and a vision processor is the “visual cortex.” Upon integration, computer vision enables navigation and mapping, collision avoidance, tracking, object recognition, inspection analytics and more – capabilities that are extremely compelling in emerging markets.
With the introduction of RealSense™ depth-sensing cameras, we brought groundbreaking technology that allowed devices to “see” the world in three dimensions. To amplify this paradigm shift, we completed several acquisitions in machine learning, deep learning and cognitive computing to build a suite of capabilities that open an entirely new world of possibilities: from recognizing objects, to understanding scenes; from authentication to tracking and navigating. This said, as devices become smarter and more distributed, we recognize that specific System on a Chip (SoC) attributes will be paramount to giving human-like sight to the 50 billion connected devices that are projected by 2020.
For this reason, I’m excited to announce our pending acquisition of Movidius*. With Movidius, Intel gains low-power, high-performance SoC platforms for accelerating computer vision applications. Additionally, this acquisition brings algorithms tuned for deep learning, depth processing, navigation and mapping, and natural interactions, as well as broad expertise in embedded computer vision and machine intelligence. Movidius’ technology optimizes, enhances and brings RealSense™ capabilities to fruition.
We see massive potential for Movidius to accelerate our initiatives in new and emerging technologies. The ability to track, navigate, map and recognize both scenes and objects using Movidius’ low-power and high-performance SoCs opens opportunities in areas where heat, battery life and form factors are key. Specifically, we will look to deploy the technology across our efforts in augmented, virtual and merged reality (AR/VR/MR), drones, robotics, digital security cameras and beyond. Movidius’ market-leading family of computer vision SoCs complements Intel’s RealSense™ offerings in addition to our broader IP and product roadmap.
Computer vision will trigger a Cambrian explosion of compute, with Intel at the forefront of this new wave of computing, enabled by RealSense™ in conjunction with Movidius and our full suite of perceptual computing technologies.
Josh Walden is senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s New Technology Group.
* Transaction is subject to satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions.