Intel, Taiwan school to research "Internet of things"

The two sides plan three to five years of research

Intel will invest around NT$750 million (US$25.8 million) in joint research with Taiwan's top-ranked university to raise the island's world tech profile and investigate how the Internet can detect and interact with objects, it said Thursday.

The maker of microprocessors and the Taipei-based school will spend at least three to five years studying "the Internet of things," meaning online detection of offline objects and their physical properties, Intel said in a statement.

Their research vehicle, Intel-NTU Connected Context Computing Center, will specifically look at smart sensing, "green sensing" and context analysis, Intel said in a statement.

Research results will be open to more than just the company and the university, Intel Labs Vice President Vida Ilderem told a news conference.

Object locator technology is gaining attention worldwide as social use of the Internet and information technology are relatively mature. Advances in object locator technology would help, for example, security guards monitor large buildings and let consumers turn on home electronics remotely.

The topic will feature prominently at the Computex 2011 computer show in Taipei later this year.

Taiwanese academia, considered strong but scarcely known off the island, will gain limelight and a boost in knowledge from Intel as the U.S. firm's researchers work with them in Taipei and the company lets some locals travel to the U.S.

"Taiwan's technology has developed to a certain level, and it's quite mature, but from an international aspect its level of recognition doesn't match its academic performance," said Chang Ching-ray, director general of international cooperation with the government's National Science Council.

Taiwan is home to some of the world's biggest manufacturers, including Acer, Asustek Computer, Hon Hai Precision Industry and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Most of their talent is local.

The creation of the Connected Context Computing Center follows Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini's visit to Taiwan in October. He and the National Science Council agreed then to a joint research program.

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