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Intel: 75 Ultrabook designs in the works and other good news on the Ultrabook front

If you were wowed by the ultra-thin Acer Aspire S5and we won’t blame you if you were - then hold on to your seats ‘cause that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Intel just revealed some interesting tidbits about the new and fast growing segment of the mobile PC market, the Ultrabook market.

First up, and this is the one that’ll surely excite most of you techies out there, there are 75 ultrabook designs in the pipeline for 2012. And by designs, that includes different shapes, styles, and screen sizes.

And soon, Intel will be equipping these sleek bad boys with the 3rd generation of their Intel Core processors.

Plus, Nuance Dragon’s voice recognition technology is on its way as well to offer up a new user experience apart from the tradition keyboard and mouse that we’ve been so accustomed to all these years on lappies. ETA? No word on exact availability, but they did tease it’s coming this year. They prolly won’t admit it, but this is pretty much the Siri-effect in action here.

Exciting times ahead guys, and for the first time in such a long while, Apple’s Macbook Air now has som serious competition on its hands.

Full press release below:

Ultrabook™: A New Era in Computing Just Got Started

Intel to Bring Natural, Intuitive Experiences to Future Ultrabook Systems; Significant Marketing Campaign to Launch in April

INTERNATIONAL CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW, Las Vegas, Jan. 9, 2012 — At the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show Press Day today, Intel Corporation described a new era of computing experience that is underway, as the first wave of Ultrabook™ devices come to market. Leading the event were Mooly Eden, Intel vice president and general manager, PC Client Group, and Kevin Sellers, vice president, Sales and Marketing Group and director, Advertising and Digital Marketing.

The Ultrabook Journey

Unveiled at Computex 2011 on May 31, Intel’s vision for the Ultrabook is to deliver a no-compromise, complete, satisfying and secure computing experience in one device. Shaped by extensive research, Intel defined the Ultrabook by starting with what people want most out of their computers.

In the few short months since the category was created, it is already seeing early momentum as the first wave of Ultrabook systems started to come to market last October.

  • More than 75 Ultrabook designs are in the pipeline for 2012 and will come in a variety of screen sizes (including 14- and 15-inch), shapes and styles. The second phase of Ultrabook devices will be powered by the upcoming 3rd generation Intel® Core™ processor family, initially available in systems starting in the spring and with increasing availability through the year.
  • During his presentation, Eden demonstrated several Ultrabook experiences and no-compromise usages that take advantage of the computing performance of the Ultrabook.
  • Security is increasingly becoming more important to consumers who want to protect their data and personal assets. Eden demonstrated a securer, “peace of mind” experience offered by the early results of a strategic collaboration between Intel and MasterCard. This collaboration was announced last year to provide more options for a safer and simpler check-out process for online merchants and MasterCard cardholders using Ultrabook devices.
  • Continued innovation from the industry is required to deliver the sleek, beautiful Ultrabook designs that measure less than just 18 millimeters in thickness.

Components from display panels, battery technology and storage solutions to motherboard and cooling technologies all have to be redesigned to fit into the slim designs. Last year, Intel announced a $300-million Ultrabook Fund to fuel development of these and other innovations, and help bring them to market in high volume and at mainstream price points.

Interaction with Computers Expands Beyond the Keyboard and Mouse As the Ultrabook continues to evolve, so too will the way people interact with them, as touch-based experiences are added. In a recently completed Intel research study on the use of touch-enabled applications on an Ultrabook, users found the use of touch on a clamshell design, and the seamless transition between the use of touch applications and the keyboard to be compelling and natural.

Eden said the addition of the touch experience will also fuel innovation in the design and shape of future Ultrabook systems, from clamshells and hybrids, to convertibles and other styles likely not yet imagined.

  • An innovative concept system developed by Intel includes a clear panel at the base of the keyboard that serves as a touch pad when open in clamshell mode, but transforms into a touch-enabled display when closed for quick use on-the-go.

Intel plans to add capabilities that will let people engage naturally and intuitively with an Ultrabook. Eden announced a strategic relationship between Intel and Nuance Communications, Inc., a leading provider of voice and language solutions, to develop an intuitive, multi-language, natural voice experience for these devices.

  • The experience will be based on Nuance’s Dragon* voice recognition technology that will be optimized for Intel® architecture and is expected to be available this year.
  • Using this technology, people will be able to control their Ultrabook just by using their voice, from quickly and easily launching applications, playing media, checking and updating social media sites or controlling their email and calendar.
  • A software development kit for Dragon and other Nuance technologies will be available on the Intel® AppUp? Center to help developers create new Ultrabook experiences.

Intel is also working on the next generation of computing interaction: intuitive and immersive, short-range gesture recognition. Eden gave a sneak peek of some of the progress made thus far using a slingshot game controlled by the user’s natural gestures.

Most Significant Marketing Campaign Since Intel® Centrino® Technology In April, Intel will kick off a multi-faceted campaign, “A New Era in Computing,” to market the Ultrabook experience in exciting and innovative ways to consumers. It will include TV, print, outdoor and other advertisement placements, as well as social media, online and in-store retail components.

  • Sellers showed a video that gave the audience a glimpse into the creative approach that Intel is taking for its new Ultrabook campaign. The ads will highlight how Intel-inspired Ultrabook systems usher in a new era of computing and make everything else seem like ancient history.
  • Intel will also use a broad set of partner marketing programs, such as its globally recognized Intel Inside program with its PC manufacturer partners, to bring the Ultrabook experience to life. It plans to expand its ongoing partnership with youth media company Vice for The Creators Project to market the Ultrabook experience, as well as engage in new, yet-to-be-announced partnerships with major lifestyle brands.

Additional information about the Ultrabook, including press material, photos, videos and more can be found at www.intel.com/newsroom/ultrabook.

Allan David

Allan David

Online, Allan’s got you covered as far as news (and some reviews every now and then) goes. Offline, you’ll see him either sweating it out in the badminton courts or dining out in one of the new restos around town. His favorite noodles: cold soba.

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