Deeply personal information experience, not better technology, at the heart of new inventions

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The Independent Tech

Computer component maker Intel is investing in research and development projects that provide insight into how technology can be used to better the human-computer experience.

"Better technology isn't enough these days," said Justin Rattner, Intel Senior Fellow, Chief Technology Officer and Director Intel Labs.

"What the individual values today is a deeply personal, information experience. When I look ahead, this is the biggest change in computing I see coming."

During the company's annual Research at Intel event on June 30 more than 30 research teams showed off their latest inventions in the fields of energy, transportation, user experience, the cloud and platform innovation.

The projects exampled how next generation technology will be integrated into people's lives.

Interaction with computers will become much more natural in the future said Intel, showing a first glimpse at how tomorrow's users will seamlessly interact with "invisible computers" through gesture, voice and touch.

Intel's Oasis - a "Smart Kitchen Top" that can recognize food products placed on a kitchen bench -provided an insight into how computers will be used to help generate shopping lists, show nutritional information, offer cooking tips, or provide recipes tailored to the ingredients we have in our house in the future.

A second invention developed by Intel's research department demonstrated a simple and cost-effective way of tracking your personal energy consumption within the house using a low-cost energy sensor.

The main focus of the event was placed on "the idea that devices will understand their surroundings, communicate with each other and change behavior or take actions based on the user's environment," explained Intel.

The Intel SENS (Socially Enabled Services) project showed how future social networks could monitor your friends and family's actions in real time to keep you informed about what they are doing.

"The research shows how context awareness from sensors onboard a device can translate into completely new user experiences such as "Shadow Avatar" and "Socially Augmented Reality" that build on new trends in sharing of presence and media," said Intel.

Human-computer relationships will also be a subject of discussion at the forthcoming TED Global 2010 conference in Oxford, UK. The conference, held from July 12-16 delves into the thoughts of some of the greatest minds on the planet.

During the TED Global 2010 conference the head of Emotiv Systems, Tan Le will show off the next generation of human-machine interface with a headset that takes input directly from the brain; Peter Molyneux, head of Microsoft's European games division, will unveil a "virtual friend" who interacts with users; and Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms will talk about the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds.

Videos of Intel's new, humanized technology can be viewed on Intel's YouTube page, Videos from the day are marked "Research@Intel Day 2010."