Intel invests in ultrabook touch displays

In case you haven't noticed, Computex is all about Windows 8 and touchscreens. And Intel is doing its part to get the ultrabook industry geared up for touch displays.

Touchscreen-touting 11.6-inch Acer Aspire. It's powered by an Intel Ivy Bridge chip.
(Credit: Acer)

The chipmaker announced, today, its agreements with Cando, HannsTouch, TPK and Wintek to guarantee the supply of touch displays, as a flood of touch-enabled ultrabooks hit the market over the next 12 months.

Computex, being held in Taipei, Taiwan this week, offers the first taste of the touch products to come. Asus, Acer and others are showing Intel-based Windows 8 touchscreen ultrabooks and hybrids. The Asus Taichi, for example, has dual displays, allowing it to operate independently as a laptop or a tablet.

"We're betting so big on touch that we have invested in ensuring that the touch capacity is in place, to support what we think is going to be a tremendous demand for ultrabook convertibles," Intel marketing chief Tom Kilroy said in an interview with CNET, referring to devices that incorporates aspects of both a tablet and laptop.

"Much like we've done with our ultrabook fund, we will work [with] the supply chain to make sure the right materials are in place ... we will take a cheque book, if you will, and put a guarantee out there that, if you build, we'll cover it," he said.

Intel will put a framework in place, which can scale up, so that when demand goes up for touch displays, they can meet it.

Out of the 110 Ivy Bridge designs available, or soon to be made available, around 30 are touch, Kilroy said, with the number steadily growing.

During Kilroy's keynote, he also demonstrated the multi-language speech recognition technology, based on Nuance's Dragon engine, as well as short-range gesture recognition technology.

Related to this, another big theme of his presentation was the development of sensors. "We feel, we touch, we see, we hear. Why not give computers sensors?" he said.


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