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PCs of the near-future: Intel lays out next-gen plans

PCs of the near-future: Intel lays out next-gen plans

Intel's press conference at CES 2013 showed us what the future will hold for later this year, showing Haswell, table-top computing, and perceptual computing. 

LAS VEGAS--PCs on your coffee table, playing Monopoly. Super-thin ultrabooks. Voice and gestural computing. Intel showed these and more at their CES 2013 press conference. But does it add up to a firm control on the future of computing?
Fourth-gen Intel Core processors aren't on their way immediately, but at this year's CES Intel was ready to demonstrate how their "Haswell" code-named chips will make Windows 8 devices of tomorrow even thinner and smaller than now...if you're in need of that. Fourth-gen Intel processors will require touch and have mandatory Intel Wireless Display, a wireless video technology that many PC owners still don't realize they already have.
Haswell is part of Intel's road-map for computers into 2014, and the biggest gains could be in battery life and extra features normally not seen in laptops. In a demo on-stage, a prototype 11-inch reference device called "Northcape" looked a lot thinner than existing ultrabooks, and Intel claims 13 hours of battery life in this sized ultraportable.
(Credit: Josh Miller, CBS Interactive)
Intel also demonstrated table-top computers, some of which are here already in devices like the Vaio Tap 20. Bringing the family together over large touch-screen devices has been kicking around since Microsoft's tabletop Surface, and the real question about such devices would be how much they'd cost.
One step away from holodeck.
(Credit: Josh Miller, CBS Interactive)
Perceptual computing was demonstrated via eye-tracking software and motion-control technology, via a Kinect-like peripheral from Creative that adds ten-figure gesture recognition. Future Intel devices may include this perceptual technology, and Intel promises some of this will emerge by the end of 2013. A demo showing eye-tracking across a "Where's Waldo?" puzzle was particularly compelling.
Finally, Intel even dabbled in pay TV. Comcast and Intel are working on a way to distribute live and on-demand TV onto laptops without a cable box coming later this year, and Xfinity is launching a home gateway to stream pay content as well. It's a little hard to get too excited about this: Roku announced a similar partnership with Time Warner Cable, and with many cable-accessory apps already allowing streaming on on-demand and live content on tablets, smartphones and game consoles like the Xbox 360, it's hard to tell how this will be significantly different./C|net/

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