Intel’s mammoth booths at past International Consumer Electronics Shows have been home to plenty of shiny tech.
This year, Intel’s 12,000-square-foot pavilion is less about the gadgets and tools and more about the experiences the company’s technology delivers. Crowds who poured into the booth when it opened Thursday saw theatrically-lit areas dedicated to virtual reality, automated driving, wearables, sports and more.
Three examples illustrate this new approach to display what Intel technology does best at the huge four-day conference in Las Vegas.
The world of sports: At the Intel sport court, Jus Fly — with the group Dunk Elite (“the best dunkers from all over the world”) — and other athletes had their wrists and waists fitted with Intel Curie modules. The tiny modules fed data wirelessly and in real-time to a scoreboard revealing an offering of never-heard-of-before basketball parameters: dunk power, jump consistency, pass power, dribble frequency, jump height, jump length, among others.
Not long after Thursday’s opening, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich took to the court and Jus Fly took to the air. The professional basketball dunker soared over Krzanich who served up the assists to a crowd of visitors and Intel employees.
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Automated driving: In another corner, a gullwinged BMW i8 drew crowds. To showcase the coming-fast-future of automated driving in an enclosed space, Intel marketers used Microsoft HoloLens “holographic computer” headsets to build an augmented reality experience that let attendees “see” what the car sees: sensor data from all sides, other traffic and even data flying up and down from the cloud.
The AR experience allowed attendees to get a feel — from the cockpit or outside the car — for how the future of automated driving will pin passengers in their seat thanks to on-board artificial intelligence and 5G connectivity.
Project Alloy: Before CES opened, Krzanich on Wednesday afternoon offered a public update on Project Alloy (It’s moving forward in 2017, he said as two players turned a living room into a multiplayer game). An experiental merged reality demonstration in the Intel pavilion backed up that prediction with the opportunity to blast zombies.
Project Alloy’s all-in-one head-mounted display uses Intel’s virtual reality-optimized Intel® RealSense™ technology to merge physical, real-life movements and environments with simulated virtual objects, environments and actions.
In the space of a softly padded room, gamers could turn and move around freely, as if walking through a darkened cemetery. But they also could see the walls — rendered to look like a chain-link fence — to keep from smacking into them. It’s that ability to see the walls that allows for a gaming experience where only zombies are harmed.
Through CES’s first day, the Intel booth was crowded with visitors. It was a heartening result for Victor Torregroza, who oversaw the pavilion’s creation for Intel. He estimated that during the show’s four-day run, the Intel booth will draw about 85,000 people with an average time in the booth of about 20 minutes.