PC makers bet on gaze, gesture, voice, and touch | KurzweilAI

Products that could make it common to control a computer, TV, or something else using eye gaze, gesture, voice, and even facial expression were launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, MIT Technology Review reports.

The technology promises to make computers and other devices easier to use, let devices do new things, and perhaps boost the prospects of companies reliant on PC sales. Industry figures suggest that interest in laptop and desktop computers is waning as consumers’ heads are turned by smartphones and tablets.

Intel announced a new webcam-like device and supporting software intended to bring gesture, voice control, and facial expression recognition to PCs. “This will be available as a low-cost peripheral this year,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president for Intel’s PC client group.

Intel also announced that, before the end of the year, it would release software that adds a voice-activated assistant to PCs, powered by technology from voice-recognition company Nuance.

Microsoft to push further development of ‘memory cube’.
Microsoft joined the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium earlier this month, which already includes high profile companies Samsung and IBM. Together the group is trying to advance the technology which uses stacks of DRAM memory combined together with a logic layer on top to control and optimize the memory. Traditionally memory controllers are intergrated into other parts of computers, but by combining them into the logic layer of the memory cube, higher speeds can be achieved along with lower energy consumption.
According to the Consortium, the memory cube could provide 15x the performance of DDR3 memory (which is found in most new computers today), while utilizing an amazing 70% less energy per bit than DDR3.
The group hopes to have 2 and 4 Gigabyte versions of the cube available early next year, although it’s unclear if those would simply be testing versions for developers or a finished product for mass market. They are also working on an interface for the cube to work with mobile devices, where power consumption is particularly critical. Intel is also rumoured to be considering joining the consortium.
8bitfuture:

Microsoft to push further development of ‘memory cube’.

Microsoft joined the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium earlier this month, which already includes high profile companies Samsung and IBM. Together the group is trying to advance the technology which uses stacks of DRAM memory combined together with a logic layer on top to control and optimize the memory. Traditionally memory controllers are intergrated into other parts of computers, but by combining them into the logic layer of the memory cube, higher speeds can be achieved along with lower energy consumption.

According to the Consortium, the memory cube could provide 15x the performance of DDR3 memory (which is found in most new computers today), while utilizing an amazing 70% less energy per bit than DDR3.

The group hopes to have 2 and 4 Gigabyte versions of the cube available early next year, although it’s unclear if those would simply be testing versions for developers or a finished product for mass market. They are also working on an interface for the cube to work with mobile devices, where power consumption is particularly critical. Intel is also rumoured to be considering joining the consortium.

8bitfuture:

(via 8bitfuture)

The computing trend that will change everything | KurzweilAI
While the largest contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is the power industry, the second largest is the more often overlooked cement industry, which accounts for 5-6% of all anthropogenic CO2emissions. For every 10 kg of cement produced, the cement industry releases a full 9 kg of CO2. Since the world consumes about 3 trillion kg of cement annually, this sector has one of the highest potentials for CO2 emission reductions. But while processes are being explored to sequester the CO2 from cement production, so far no process can completely eliminate it.

The computing trend that will change everything | KurzweilAI

While the largest contributor to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is the power industry, the second largest is the more often overlooked cement industry, which accounts for 5-6% of all anthropogenic CO2emissions. For every 10 kg of cement produced, the cement industry releases a full 9 kg of CO2. Since the world consumes about 3 trillion kg of cement annually, this sector has one of the highest potentials for CO2 emission reductions. But while processes are being explored to sequester the CO2 from cement production, so far no process can completely eliminate it.

Meanwhile, Mark Rolston of frog design (which famously helped design the original Macintosh) talked about how computers and other advanced technology are already beginning to disappear into our surroundings and devices, and that he expects this to accelerate in the future. Rolston said that it doesn’t take much to think about combining voice technology, like the kind Apple has in Siri, with the kind of processing power we have now to create a computer that uses any available surface (a wall, a mirror, etc.) as a screen.

Rolston imagines an extension of the kind of physical interface that Microsoft’s Kinect uses, where gestures and even facial recognition could be used to control all kinds of processes or devices and where computing power behind the scenes would allow us to interact with our homes in different ways. Computers would become “externalized resources in a room.” In that kind of environment, Rolston said, “I can talk at it and wave at it, and maybe I have a keyboard or maybe there are screens or cameras around, but [the computers] compose in the moment as we need them.”