CES - Otellini sees Internet search coming to users

Otellini said in a CES keynote speech that the Internet will become so personal that search will come to users, and not vice versa.

Preaching mobility to an audience teeming with cell-phone and laptop users, Intel CEO Paul Otellini looked into the crystal ball and predicted that Internet search will approach users instead of users approaching search.

The Internet is not intelligent -- it has a drab interface and is in need of a serious face-lift, Otellini said during a Monday keynote at the International Consumer Electronics Show being held in Las Vegas.

The Internet needs to be more interactive and needs to deliver a more visual and personal Internet experience, Otellini said.

People feel disengaged with the Internet because it offers poor interactivity, Otellini said. Searching for data by starting a computer, visiting a search engine and then sifting through lots of information is a long process, Otellini said.

With the help of better user interfaces, mobile Internet devices and social networking, the Internet could get to know its users better to deliver a more personal experience, and that process is already under way, Otellini said. The Internet will soon be able to recognize a user, anticipate a data search and deliver related data before a user asks for it.

Like the Nintendo Wii gaming console from Nintendo, once the Internet develops a sturdy interface users will engage with it, Otellini said. "The popularity of the Wii lies with the interface, not the graphics," Otellini said. The experience brings people together in many ways through active engagement.

Social networking is another way for people to connect, Otellini said. Many companies are working on cutting-edge technologies to boost social networking technologies to connect people and expose personalities to the Internet.

Otellini demonstrated the use of eJamming Audiio, a social networking software and Web site through which musicians can connect and jam with other music enthusiasts. The band Smash Mouth jammed over the Internet with lead singer Steve Hartwell on stage, and other band members at other locations.

As more people connect, the demand on the Internet will increase, and be facilitated by the adoption of WiMax, wireless technology that is being tested in 70 countries, Otellini said. That, in turn, could drive the demand for Internet-connected devices, Otellini said.

Internet-connected consumer electronics will be able to anticipate the information users are looking for, sift the Internet and deliver data users are seeking, Otellini said. Using mobile Internet devices, Otellini said, will be "like carrying the Internet with you. For example, such devices could anticipate and deliver requirements such as translation services or information on favorite meals for travelers.

Intel is developing processors that allows consumer electronics to cope with the computing and graphics power demanded by high-resolution images or 3D interfaces of social networking sites like Second Life, Otellini said.

Otellini demonstrated the Canmore system-on-a-chip platform, which enables high-resolution imaging and broadcast TV for consumer electronics devices. The chip includes the Intel Architecture processor, and an audio-visual unit that supports 1080p high-resolution imaging and surround sound.

Canmore's computing power, graphics and audio-visual capabilities help devices do more while taking up less space, Otellini said. The platform, targeted at set-top boxes, TVs and media players, will be released in the second half of this year.

Intel is already set to release the Menlow platform, a set of components including the low-power Silverthorne processor and Poulsbo chipset, that run ultramobile devices.

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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