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CES 2017: Intel Pushes Opportunities For Virtual Reality

Intel has produced its “most technically complex presentation ever” at CES 2017 according to CEO Brian Krzanich, with every member of the audience experiencing parts of the press conference in virtual reality.

The company is pushing opportunities for virtual reality in travel, work and play along with emerging merged reality technology, which Mr Krzanich believes “offers the world extraordinary promise.”

“For half a century now, we’ve divided the world into the digital and the physical. That boundary is going away fast and merging in new exciting ways,” Mr Krzanich said.

Project Alloy, Intel’s all-in-one merged reality product, was demonstrated on stage, allowing for the real world and virtual world to be seamlessly combined without the need for room sensors or a computer or smartphone. In collaboration with HypeVR, the company also gave the first public demonstration of a live-action VR experience in which viewers were able to freely walk around.

“Through the combination of advanced drones, cameras and computer technology, I believe VR has the potential to save lives during search and rescue missions or after natural disasters; and the potential to make millions of people’s workplaces safer by letting employees conduct dangerous inspections from a safe distance,” Mr Krzanich said in a blog post after the event.

Intel plans to productise the open Project Alloy platform with the company’s top OEM partners in the fourth quarter of the year, with the product potentially shipping next year. The company also demonstrated the first 2-in-1 PC powered by a next generation 10-nm Cannon Lake processor, alongside announcements for the world’s first global 5G modem and future plans for autonomous driving.

A partnership between BMW Group, Mobileye and Intel will see approximately 40 autonomous cars on the road this year, with Intel also introducing Intel Go, the first 5G-ready development platform for automakers.

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