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Competition For the Healthcare Heats Up and Intel Introduces Quark Chip For Mobile Devices And Continues With Software Acquisiti

Posted Sep 14 2013 2:15pm

Well not to be outdone by others in the chip business Intel is working to get their new low powered chip out there as well.  The chip business has really evolved and is moving fast, so fast that factories open up and close about at the same speed.  There’s a reason for this of course and it has to do withimage the “tooling” required to manufacture chips.  Just this week Intel announced closing their factory in Massachusetts and 700 jobs will be gone.   This was a factory Intel bought years ago and now I am guessing the ability to retool and maintain a profit is disappearing.  It also affects other businesses as indicated in this article such as restaurants, and other facilities that hosted Intel events, etc.  It all rolls around. 

The company is going to try to sell the facility, but this raises the question, will there be any buyers?  Might and might not.  In Hillsboro Intel began work last fall on a second facility in Hillsboro Oregon, in Oregon to where there has been a bit activity there with building a new plant.  That is also not without issues as it has been found that one facility has been emitting fluoride since 1978 with an older factory and they need to upgrade to meet emissions standards.  Folks in New Mexico got wind of it and are asking questions there as well

It is amazing on how much software today is going on the chip, a lot more than just a few years ago and you may not give this much thought but with all the devices out there just think of the software loaded in the chip to make the device work.  We have come a long way since the big introduction of 64 bit computing which it was not too long ago that was big news.  I used to do some contracted training for Intel about that time so I remember it pretty well.  All were going to move over to 64 bit software and 32 bit was going to be left in the dust, well it didn’t quite work that way and we are still transitioning..and Apple just announced putting a 64 bit chip in their iPhone. 

Israel is and has been the real brain center for a lot of the technology for Intel and is still very much a big part of where their chip technologies come from.  Now on the agenda is the Quark processor to compete with ARM.  I remember a ways back when ARM first came to cell phones, it was a big improvement for sure.  In addition the company also keeps Wall Street going with their Xeon processors that run the exchanges and software in New Jersey, where the actual servers are located, not in New York. There’s a big new Xeon Z5 coming out.   Actually that part of the world might be the only place where you have consultants that will certify selling you some over clocked processors as we know there’s that need for speed.  I wrote about that a couple years ago.  God forbid the SEC try and understand this portion of how it works and the extensive cooling systems needed, they still seem to be stuck on “Algorithms 101” as we read today.  I ran across this article too where Intel is showing off a little over clocking technology too…I just still remember the kids (gamers) who over clocked and fried their PCs a few years ago:)  They used to ask me if there was any way Intel would give them another one.

Gamers Are Not the Only Ones to Over Clock Processors-Turns Out It’s Done on Wall Street To Run Those Algorithms at Rocket Speed

The company does a lot of interesting things, some take off and some don’t.  It’s getting very competitive.  Here’s something to just kind of look at, a video with a robotic hand operating a Windows Surface tablet.  You have a robot modeling a human “user’s experience” here…

Intel announced the Quark family of silicon, the smallest system on a chip Intel has ever produced, Kranich said: one-fifth the size of the Atom and operating at one-tenth the power. It is fully synthesizable, and designed for the Internet of things.  The Quark X1000 will be the first of the lineup.

Intel also has plans for the other end of the spectrum: wearable computing embodied by products like the Pebble smartwatch and Google Glass.

The company wants to work with companies that design consumer wearables..

Recently Intel hired a former Nike engineer who worked on the FuelBand project and one from Oakley.  So here’s a couple of quotes about how they want to power the self quantified movement.   Notice, the quotes, handing off data that gets processed and shared…data selling so you can see where the root go here from the very beginning that data selling is part of it as otherwise if you read what I wrote above heck with the overhead, having to buy the chips, etc. they can’t stand alone and make money without selling your data, this is just common sense to figure that one out.  Probably without the data selling built in the products would cost a lot more for consumers to buy.

“In a recent interview, Holmes discussed how wearable gadgets such as Fitbit Flex, Google Glass, Samsung Gear and Qualcomm Toq may redefine the look and feel of computing hardware, but still depend heavily on software.”

Holmes declined to discuss specific product plans, instead focusing on the roles that wearables will create for smartphones, tablets and personal computers as hubs that process, display and store quantified-self and other personal data.

Lifting his FuelBand -clad wrist, Holmes said, “If this didn’t connect to Nike + or a smartphone running an application that turns the data into a rich visual display, it would be much less interesting. It provides a lot of value because it’s handing off meaningful data that gets processed and shared. These devices are a means to capture or generate data.”

I do hope Intel is equally as anxious to work with consumer device companies that are coming out now that don’t sell data, like the Scanadu Tri-Coder and the fabric sensors from Sensoria Socks which also have a clinical feature in being able to help with diabetes tracking with foot health.  Recently I added the post below so it helps to be able to follow the chain of events on how the software all connects and again it’s gathering data to pay for software and hardware if you will. 

Samsung Adds RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal to Their Lineup on the Smartwatch–Collaboration Among Data & Data Profile Sellers For More Riches/Profits

You can’t help but miss the bit pitches from Health Insurers as they want this data even before they figure out how use further segmentation for profit with it.  I see news releases all the time about Aetna in particular as if not the big corporation a subsidiary possible of the big insurer is going to be the end recipient. Insurers also collect other data to query and run together like buying up your Visa and MasterCard records…

Insurance Companies Are Buying Up Consumer Spending Data-Time is Here to License and Tax the Data Sellers-As Insurers Sell Tons of Data, Gets Flawed Data When Data Buyers Uses Out of Context Too

I always find it interesting too when the over hyped “quantified self” movement is mentioned.  Sure wearables will offer great information as the risk of losing more privacy for sure but let’s into account how an average consumer is going to use and digest all of this.  A lot of it, people try and use it for a while and then get bored and it gets shoved in a drawer, I hear that from folks with many of the devices, fun for a while, but I’m bored now and it take too much of my time.  Sure those will argue that it’s on auto pilot to create the data, but you still need human interest to want to look at it as well as the desire.  I like technology too but I get bored like anyone else and usually have something else tugging at me today that distracts me to where I may not have time anymore to want to focus on the data..real life.

I’m a female and no matter how they make these things look, I still like a nice gold necklace that looks a a hell of a lot better than some of what I see, but that’s me.  I am reading there though too that jewelry is the next frontier as the chips get smaller.  Of course the hype from the designers “has” to be there, that’s what they do.  I kind of laughed a little bit at this one statement here (below) and again it’s because I am a privacy advocate and see the billions made selling data on the back side, like the value is going to be for dollars in companies selling and promoting devices, watches and so forth, the other side:)

“It’s going to be a while before most people are comfortable and see the value in using them, and the actual technology gets refined enough,” he said.”

Value seems to be a word I use quite frequently today along with context as they play major roles and we get duped too on what we should consider imagevalue so it get pretty gray out there with steroid marketing too.  How many stock brokers do you see walking around wearing the devices…be interesting to observe something like that I think.  To make a point on lower powered processors, this was interesting to see a demonstration on how a glass of wine could offer enough power to harness some processing speed ..and no I don’t this is a real life scenario we watch for yet as I don’t see us hanging a glass of wine around our wrists anytime soon:)

Do you think Nuance is the only one in the business of natural language recognition..not so but they do have the market but Intel bought a company called Indisys from Spain that’s in that business too for $26 million. 

Intel also bought another company recently named Omek, in Israel that is in the 3D gesture recognition business for $40 million.  Ok so are we looking at competition for Kinect here in putting gesture recognition on wearables next?  I might think the DOD and Homeland Security might perk up on this technology, you think?

“Omek’s technology supports both close-range and long-range body tracking, recognizing gestures from as close as 10 cm right up to full body tracking. Earlier this year, Intel Corporation ( NASDAQ:INTC ) said it was working on a new Kinect-like interface for PCs that will recognize users and respond to them. To do this, it is building a small peripheral that can be attached to current-generation computers to add voice, gesture, and face recognition. Intel’s acquisition of Omek reaffirms its commitment to perceptual computing, which could help it take on Leap Motion in the battle for widespread adoption.”

So again it’s interesting to see all of the technologies out there but it all comes back to the chip being the brain of course and Intel seems to be buying up technologies that will grow with their chips as well.  So again in summary all this technology takes money and to get it out to the consumers at an affordable price…well data selling revenues come right in there to the ecosystem with plenty of buyers wanting that data, again even if their segmentation strategies for profit are not yet defined, grab it while it’s hot seems to be what’s happening.  You would almost have to be living under a rock not to want to look at some of the money structures that go along with this. 

I like both technology and privacy so the intertwinings are something I try to follow as it’s just my mind works:)  When you look at how fast the technology is moving versus the other side as far as knowledge of all of this we have some big gaps out there for sure and the one thing we all fear of course with all of this is take taken out of context and used against us , NSA news kind of confirms a lot of that.  There’s a good video in the footer here, the first one that discusses “context”, and well worth a watch as it might make you think about things as a big picture as we watch all the studies, devices, and technology that rolls in front of us every day.  I think is also important to be aware of the software, tools and technology that facilitates some of this and how it all works.  It’s a wild and wooly world out there today.  BD

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