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CES 2014: Upcoming Mobile and Wearable Tech for the Workplace

Intel plans for chip-sized computers, free mobile security and dual operating systems to revolutionize the tech industry.

Las Vegas — During a Monday night keynote at CES 2014, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced multiple wearable and handheld products and accessories that could affect workplace computing considerably.

Krzanich, who became Intel’s CEO last summer after working there for decades, claimed that the game-changing designs would all be available this year.

“Most of my career, computing has been something you hold in your hand. Maybe it’s something in your pocket [or] something that sits on your desk,” he said. “That idea is about to be transformed.”

One of the announcements was Edison, a Pentium-class PC the size and shape of an SD card. Krzanich said that the miniature computing marvel ran Linux, had built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and that his company designed an app store specifically for it. 

Edison’s impressive processing power and small size could facilitate rapid innovation and product development during the next era of technology development.

Intel plans to motivate people to innovate with Make It Wearable, a contest for entrants to submit their ideas for wearable products, powered by Edison. Intel will dole out $1.3 million in prizes split among multiple winners and their entries. The top 10 contenders will work with Intel and industry partners to develop the products for release.

“This is what we believe will allow the creation and innovation possible with Edison to come into market,” Krzanich said, though he didn’t explain how to enter.

Intel will offer free McAfee security for mobile devices. Krzanich argued that this move would provide much-needed protection as computing continues to shrink in size, and becomes more ingrained in everyday life and workflow functions. Malware attacks against mobile platforms increase constantly, and they’ll run rampant as wearables and mini-computing multiply.  

Krzanich’s final big announcement was Intel processors that allow users to press a button and switch between Android and Windows operating systems. Intel showcased the Asus Transformer Book Duet earlier on Monday, which will be one of the earliest devices with this functionality. 

Krzanich unveiled other Intel wearables that were geared mainly for consumer use, though some of them could prove useful at work as well. They included earbuds with biosensors, headsets that integrate with digital personal assistant software, and a bowl that charges wireless equipment placed inside of it.