Microchip Your Newborn!

As I mentioned last Saturday, I’m reporting to you live this week from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

To say there’s a lot to cover would be an understatement. That’s why we’ve added a “CES 2014” section to our website, so you can follow the action as we tweet and blog from the event.

For my regular columns here, however, I’m only sending you my top-shelf coverage. And it doesn’t get much better than this: my “by-invitation-only” meeting with Intel (INTC) – one that took place on Tuesday morning at 7:00 AM. That was two hours before CES even opened its doors to the rest of the world.

As you might expect, Intel is working on some pretty remarkable technology. For example, there are seven major trends at this year’s CES…

  • Wearable technology…
  • Smarter, “connected” homes and cars…
  • Autonomous driving…
  • Ultra-HD curved displays…
  • Consumer robotics…
  • Radically immersive gaming…
  • Interactive augmented reality…

And Intel has its hands in all of them.

To be more precise, Intel has its “chips” in everything.

Its latest invention is extraordinary by itself. But its power is also being harnessed in one of technology’s fastest-growing areas…

Intel’s Smallest-Ever Computer

Intel’s brand-spanking-new “Edison” microchip is the company’s smallest computer. Here’s a shot of Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, announcing Edison to us as “a full Pentium-class PC.”


The fact that this chip is so small means it can be integrated directly into other devices. It boasts Intel’s extremely low-power Quark processor, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity to communicate with other devices.

Here’s how it’s being put to use…

Welcome to the World of “Smart Babies”

Intel wants to put Edison in wearable products that go beyond the regular realm of smart watches, smart glasses and health monitors.

For example, MIT startup, Rest Devices, specializes in baby wearables.

Yes, you read that right…

When I chatted with Rest Devices, I was shown a demo baby, outfitted in a high-tech onesie called Mimo. Those green stripes and attached device you can see lying across the baby are fully equipped with sensors that monitor a baby’s breathing, temperature and activity level.


But that’s not all…

Mimo also has an algorithm that can work out when your baby is about to fall asleep. Valuable information for parents that allows them to optimize their sleep time, too!

Rest Devices told me that Intel reached out five weeks ago and offered to incorporate its Edison chip into the “smart baby” concept.

To demonstrate Edison’s potential, Rest Devices showed me its “nursery ecosystem” idea.

The premise is simple. The chip will do all calculations locally and transfer data wirelessly to other connected devices, like smartphones.

Edison will help develop a smart bottle warmer, which will be able to measure a baby’s liquid consumption.

And remarkably, Edison can display all this onesie data on a coffee mug, of all things…

When the baby is comfortable, blinking lights on the mug show a green smiling face. But when something is wrong, the face turns red.

As if that weren’t enough, Rest Devices makes every mug with its MakerBot 3-D printer!


Before I get back to the showroom floor, I just have time to tell you about another of Intel’s innovations…

A Safe Driver is a Connected Driver

Essentially, technology should make our lives easier.

Another way that Intel is making this happen is by using its Edison chip to usher in a new age of unobtrusive, interconnected devices.

Take connected cars, for instance…

Intel is working closely with major automotive companies like Infiniti and BMW to help make the driving experience more personalized and high tech… but also safer.

Both companies are looking at innovative ways to use cloud-based services in combination with electronic devices.

For example…

Infiniti recently launched its new Q50 – the first market-ready car that utilizes Intel technology to power the InTouch “infotainment” system.

The InTouch system is basically designed to be an extension of your digital lifestyle.

Mobile apps allow you to stay connected to Facebook (FB) activity, listen to your favorite Pandora (P) playlists, and access your contacts, calendar and email on the touchscreen display.

And BMW’s “ConnectedDrive” innovation is powered by Intel technology, and the partnership between the companies is another example of how Intel is powering the connected digital lifestyle in several different areas.

The automaker’s brand-new, all-electric, carbon-fiber i3 model will launch in the United States this year. It boasts the processing power to deliver rich graphics, fast-performing apps and the ability to transfer routes to the car’s navigation system from a PC, or access real-time traffic information.

It also comes with automated parallel parking and offers an incredibly silent, smooth ride. It goes from zero to 60 mph in just seven seconds and can stop on a dime. I know firsthand because I got a chance to test-drive the car on Tuesday…


Fully autonomous, self-driving car technology won’t be consumer-ready until around 2020. But in the meantime, “smart cars” are satisfying our insatiable need to stay connected and use technology to enhance the driving experience.

Your eyes in the Pipeline,

Marty Biancuzzo

P.S. Don’t forget… in between our regular columns, you can get the very latest from us in Las Vegas on our special CES page. We’re tweeting and blogging as the event continues, so be sure to check in throughout the rest of the week.

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Marty Biancuzzo

, Technology Analyst

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