Intel researchers are developing tiny microprocessors that would power wearable computers.
"These will be wearable computers that are very small and unobtrusive," says Intel's Manny Vara. "Imagine wearing something that would tell you, before you shake someone's hand, that she's Mary and it will tell you where you met her last."
In order to make wearable computers feasible, Intel needs to develop computer chips that run on milliwatts of power, and are less than half the size of the company's low-voltage Atom processors. Other challenges include creating devices with sufficient memory and battery life. As a method for minimizing the size and power requirements for these next-generation chips, Intel will likely forgo the instruction set normally found in today's microprocessors, Vara notes.
"Right now, it's early in the game so we're looking at what makes sense to put in there," he says. "You'd want to have some memory built in and maybe some graphics, because you'd want to have one chip ... maybe two chips, but size-wise you want to keep it small."
Vera says wearable computers that record users' activities and conversations would likely lead to the development of privacy and security technologies.
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