Tag Archives: hp

Can HP’s split help it beat the PC slump?

As HP prepares to split into two companies, the company’s president of Personal Systems tells Sophie Curtis it plans to be at the forefront of creating new product categories

On the first day of next month, Hewlett-Packard (HP), the American technology giant that was famously founded in a garage in Palo Alto in 1939, is splitting in two. The company’s data centre infrastructure business – comprising servers, storage and networking – will become HP Enterprise, and its PC and printer business will become HP Inc.

It is arguably the biggest upheaval in the company’s history. While HP has bought and spun off many subsidiaries in its 76 years – from 2001’s $24bn acquisition of Compaq to the $12bn purchase of Autonomy in 2011 that turned into a major corporate scandal – it has never overhauled its core structure in quite such a dramatic fashion.

The two companies will be of practically equal size: HP estimates that HP Enterprise will have revenue strength of $58bn and operating profits of $6bn, while HP Inc will have revenues of $57bn and operating profit of $5bn.

The man responsible for the lion’s share of the latter is Ron Coughlin. Under the new structure he will be president of HP Inc’s Personal Systems business, putting him in charge of PCs, tablets, accessories and their related services – a unit that currently brings in $35bn of revenues. Coughlin will report to Dion Wesler, HP Inc’s new chief executive, with HP’s current chief, Meg WhHewlett-Packarditman, taking over the other side of the company when the two split.

“What makes us most excited about the new HP Inc is the ability to have the creativity and speed of an entrepreneur and the scale of a Fortune 100 company,” said Mr Coughlin. “This means that when we have a great idea, we’re going to move fast, and we’re going to create new categories, but at the same time, when we get that idea, we can put it in every country, every city, every province in the world.”

Some argue that the split is long overdue. Former chief executive Leo Apotheker proposed spinning off the company’s PC business in 2011, but the plan was dropped following pressure from shareholders, which ultimately led to Apotheker’s departure.

Meg Whitman, who took over as HP's chief executive in September 2011, has warned investors about the scale of HP's challenges.

Ms Whitman led a reorganisation of the company in 2012 that saw the PC business combined with the Imaging and Printing Group, helping to pave the way for the current separation plan.

HP is now taking a big leaf out of the book of IBM, another major IT supplier, which realised years ago that it was never going to be a one-stop shop for corporates, and started to sell off “non-core” businesses such as printers, PCs and servers. Rather than gradually divesting businesses though, it is splitting, which offers several advantages. Existing shareholders will get shares in both companies, and the two have agreed not to compete with each other for three years after the split. They will partner to buy supplies, jointly sell products to customers, and share patents and other intellectual property.

Mr Coughlin said part of the reason that the previous attempt to spin off the PC business was unsuccessful was because of “brand dis-synergies”. In other words, HP had decided that the PC business would suffer if it was not able to use its famous brand to sell its products.

This time, both companies will get to keep HP in their name, which Mr Coughlin said “took a lot of the dis-synergy out, and really unlocked the value”.

HP Spectre x2

HP Inc will focus on three key areas – “core”, which is about using HP’s clout and scale to offer high-end features at the lowest possible cost, “growth”, which is about focusing on fast-growing categories like all-in-one PCs and convertibles, and “future” – creating new product categories.

At its consumer event in Barcelona this week, the company unveiled a slew of new devices with this new strategy in mind, including the Spectre x2, a elegant lightweight tablet with a detachable metal keyboard, an all-in-one PC with a huge 34-inch curved display, and a range of colourful HP Stream cloud-based Windows laptops.

The company is also looking to the future with its recently launched Sprout computing platform, which combines an all-in-one desktop computer with two touch displays along with a scanner, depth sensor, high-resolution camera and projector, to create a 3D computing experience – or in HP’s parlance, “Blended Reality”.

“We have been on a drumbeat of innovation. It started in October 2014, when we launched our Blended Reality,” says Mr Coughlin. “It was a vision last October, it’s becoming a reality now. Today if you go on HP.com, we sell Sprout. We also sell Sprout bundled with a 3D printer – 40pc of Sprout sales come bundled with a 3D printer.”

HP Sprout

However, splitting the company into two comes at a price. HP stands to lose $400m to $450m during the split. The company hopes its cost-cutting efforts will help offset that number. Last month, HP said it expects to cut about 33,300 jobs over the next three years, on top of the 55,000 layoffs previously announced. The latest cuts represent a 10pc reduction in the company’s total workforce.

Revenue from the PC and printer business – what will become HP Inc after the split – fell 11.5pc in its fiscal third quarter, which ended on July 31. HP has said it expects the market for PCs and printers to remain tough for “several quarters”: the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, as well as sluggish business investment, has meant both corporate customers and consumers holding back on buying computers.

Despite this, Mr Coughlin is optimistic about the future of the PC market, and confident of HP’s place within it. The addressable market for personal systems – hardware ranging from PCs to printers to mobile devices – is worth $340bn, he said, with half of that market growing at nine per cent.

“We have a scale market with significant growth pockets, and we’ve proven we can gain share in the PC category,” he said. “I’m also optimistic because we have momentum. We are blessed with being able to go public with one of the world’s strongest brands. Our marketing engine has never revved stronger.”

On the whole, analysts tend to agree that HP Inc has an opportunity to take a lead in the development of innovative hardware, in partnership with Microsoft, which under its chief executive, Satya Nadella, is undergoing something of a revolution focused on its new Windows 10 software. However, many believe that it has to look beyond its traditional markets, having seen the smartphone revolution pass it by almost completely.

The growing “internet of things” industry – connecting everyday devices to mobile or Wi-Fi connections to improve efficiency – could be one of these, especially given HP’s reputation among enterprises.

Coughlin says that operating as a separate company will allow HP Inc to invest more money in new categories as well as creating its own, rather than simply pouring all of its research and development budget into improving its existing technology. This is not only an intent but has been built into the new company’s framework, he says, highlighting how Mr Wesler was announced as HP Inc’s new chief executive when the company unveiled its next-generation Sprout technology a year ago.

“It’s not by chance,” Coughlin says. “It highlights the fact that innovation is going to be a centrepiece of the company under his leadership.”

Forrester analyst Peter Burris said that HP Inc will need to “place some big bets” and “run like the wind” if it hopes to play a role in shaping the consumer device and services industry. However, Mr Coughlin said that HP Inc will only play in markets where it can add value, both in terms of experience and from a shareholder perspective.

“Our focus is commercial mobility. In January we launched eight new devices in four vertical focus areas – retail, field service, education and healthcare. A great example is our healthcare tablet that is antimicrobial, it has a camera to scan the patient’s tag, so the whole idea is mobilising work flows, and that’s our focus. We can add value there, we believe there’s a need, we don’t believe our competitors serve that market well and we believe that there’s profit pools there,” he said.

“We don’t chase share for share’s sake. We don’t believe that we can do well in the $79 tablet market. I don’t think that anybody is going to do well there. In commercial, the good news is that the whole category has profit, and is such that you can offer great experience and great return for shareholders.”

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HP is giving away its music streaming service for free if you buy a computer

Company teams up with Universal Music to launch HP Lounge, a web-based radio streaming service

HP has teamed up with Universal Music Group to launch its own music streaming service called HP Lounge, in an attempt to entice “millennials” to buy its PCs.

HP Lounge is an ad-free web radio streaming service, allowing anyone who buys a new HP laptop or PC to listen to music by artists from Universal Music’s catalogue on an unlimited basis for 12 months, via a variety of stations grouped by genre, artist or mood. After the 12 months is up, HP will charge £3.20 a year for use of its sevice.

As well as music streaming, the service provides access to curated content from HP and Universal Music, including behind-the-scenes news, “making-of” videos, artist interviews and album reviews.

Users will also have the chance to win concert tickets and gain access to exclusive music experiences, such as meet and greets with their favourite artists, recording studio visits and VIP packages to private showcase events.

“HP Lounge ships with every consumer device that we ship in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and with it you can really select what you would like to listen to, depending on what kind of mood you are in,” said Achim Kuttler, HP’s vice president and general manager of personal systems for EMEA.

“The interface is very intuitive, and very easy to use. You will have some very unique search capabilities, which allows you to view content related to your favourite artist or favourite music.”

The HP Lounge app will come pre-loaded on HP’s latest range of PCs and tablets, and can be downloaded onto older HP devices from the Microsoft Store. It is available in 22 countries across Europe and the Middle East.

The company’s European consumer vice president, Pascal Bourguet, said that non-HP users would also be able to download HP Lounge from the Microsoft Store, but would only by able to listen to 30-second clips of each song.

An attendee at the Microsoft Ignite technology conference walks past the Hewlett-Packard (HP) logo in Chicago, Illinois

Last month, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) reported that revenues from streaming songs on the internet had passed $1bn for the first time.

Revenue from paid subscriptions to services like Spotify and Rhapsody grew 25pc to $478m, while revenue from free services like Pandora grew 22pc to $550m.

However, Ron Coughlin, senior vice president and general manager of HP’s Printing and Personal Systems Group, said that HP is not trying to challenge the like of Spotify, Deezer or Apple Music.

“We’re not trying to get into that business by any means,” he said. “Right now it’s more focused on giving a better experience and thereby people preferring HP devices. There’s also a bunch of co-marketing components to that that allow us to have more presence in the marketplace.”

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HP’s Envy 8 Note is a bizarre new tablet with an oversized keyboard

HP unveiled a slew of new Windows 10 PCs at tablets at an event in Barcelona today, including a two-in-one tablet that slots into the back of its keyboard

HP has designed a bizarre new two-in-one device that combines an 8-inch tablet with a 10-inch keyboard, in an attempt to offer the optimum combination of portability and productivity.

The HP Envy 8 Note is 7.7mm thick and weighs 0.8lbs. It has a 1080p full high-definition display and runs Windows 10 in tablet and desktop modes, giving customers access to the Office Mobile suite.

The tablet is powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor, clocking from 1.44 GHz up to 1.84 GHz in turbo mode, with over 6 hours of battery life.

It features a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera, and comes equipped with Audio by B&O Play. It also has a micro SIM card slot, a micro SD card reader and a micro USB 2.0 port for charging and connecting accessories. It also comes with a stylus for note-taking.

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It comes with the option of 4G connectivity as well as HP’s DataPass service, which allows customers to connect to mobile broadband services without a contract. Customers receive up to 250MB per month at no cost and can purchase additional monthly data packages.

The Envy 8 Note comes with a 10-inch Bluetooth keyboard, which is made from aluminium and has keys that can be depressed to a depth of 1.5mm – the same amount as HP’s most premium notebooks.

The keyboard includes an 89mm x 34mm slot, which is designed to hold the tablet in place in either landscape or portrait modes when you’re working. It also has a slot in the back of the keyboard, which the tablet can slot into for transportation.

hp-envy-2

“We didn’t envision it as a tablet, we envisioned it as a two-in one from the beginning, you’re going to read from it and watch a movie with it, but we also knew the ability to produce was going to be a key thing. So the keyboard became the challenge but also the solution,” said Stacy Wolff, vice president of industrial design for HP’s Personal Systems business.

“What we’ve done on this product is chiselled away on all on all four sides – it actually is like a keystone. What I’m able to do is just slide it into the back, and that locks it in place, so I can toss it in my backpack and it’s now one entity.”

The Edge 8 Note was one of a slew of new Windows 10 devices launched by HP at its Consumer Event in Barcelona today.

Other highlights included a limited edition Spectre x360 in copper, created to celebrate Bang & Olufsen’s 90th anniversary, a new Pavilion gaming notebook with high-end NVIDIA graphics and the HP Envy Curved, which claims to be the widest curved all-in-one PC in the world, with a 34 inch display.

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Smartwatches open to cyberattack says HP

The best-selling smartwatches on the market all have security problems, according to US tech giant Hewlett-Packard.

The company tested 10 wearables for security features, such as password protection and data encryption.

It found all the watches had at least one area of concern.

One security expert said manufacturers needed to pay closer attention to customer security.

“Keeping up with other manufacturers to be a forerunner in this technology field may force products to be released without the necessary attention to how secure they actually are,” said Mark James, security specialist at online security firm ESET.

HP said it had tested 10 of the “top” smartwatches for security features recommended by the Open Web Application Security Project, which aims to set standards for internet connected devices.

It found that:

  • Only half the watches had a lock function to prevent people other than the owner accessing data stored on it
  • Nine of the watches sent some data unencrypted, which could be intercepted
  • A third of the smartwatches allowed unlimited login attempts, which could help attackers guess passwords
  • Two of the devices could be easily paired with a different phone if stolen

“The results of our research were disappointing, but not surprising,” HP said in its report.

‘Potential risks’

Daniel Miessler, who led the research, told the BBC: “It’s a chicken-and-egg situation. You need enough customer interest in security for the manufacturers to change and invest.”

HP said it would not reveal which watches it had tested, but was working with manufacturers to “build security into their products before they put them out to market”.

The BBC understands watches by Apple, Pebble, Samsung and Sony were included in the study.

“It appears that manufacturers of these devices (including market leaders) have not seriously considered or addressed the privacy implications of wearing their products,” said security firm Symantec in its blog.

The firm’s security strategist, Sian John, said customers should take steps to protect their data.

“With more and more consumers adopting wearable tech devices, they need to be aware of the potential risks to security and privacy,” she said.

“There are a few basic security precautions to help guard against the risk of exposing personal information.

“Use a screen lock or password to prevent unauthorised access to your device, do not reuse the same user name and password between different sites and use full device encryption if available.”

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HP no longer playing by Microsoft, Intel rules, exec says

With Microsoft and Intel becoming “outright competitors,” Hewlett-Packard sees most of the PC growth happening outside the Windows market. That means Android, Chrome, and Ubuntu. 

The laptop sans Wintel: The $279 HP Chromebook 11 runs Google's Chrome OS on top of a Samsung Exynos processor.

A Hewlett-Packard vice president had a lot to say about alternatives to Microsoft and Intel during a meeting of financial analysts on Tuesday. And CEO’s Meg Whitman had some pretty provocative comments of her own.

The shift to non-Windows products at the world’s largest PC maker is happening against a backdrop of a shrinking “Wintel” (Microsoft-Intel) PC market.

IDC said today that worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of 2013 contracted 7.6 percent year-to-year.

“The market is changing more today than it has in the past 30 odd years I’ve been in the industry,” Dion Weisler, executive vice president of Printing and Personal Systems at HP, said at the company’s Securities Analyst meeting in San Jose, Calif., on Wednesday. He continued:

 

In the past, if you had the Wintel playback and played by the Wintel playbook you could pretty much predict your results. You just needed to run a little faster than the other guy. Everything was pretty predictable…[But] we’re in a new world now with multiple operating systems, new architectures, new silicon, new graphics, new subsystems.

And Whitman had some tough words of her own for Microsoft and Intel.

HP’s traditional highly-profitable markets face significant disruption. In personal systems…Wintel-based devices are being aggressively displaced by ARM-based PCs and mobile devices running competing operating systems…current, long-term HP partners, like Intel and Microsoft, are increasingly becoming outright competitors.

The push into non-Windows markets is being driven by places like China. “In China there are more tablets sold than the United States. Guess what? Most of those are not on the Windows operating system,” Weisler said.

HP is focused on four OSes now: Microsoft, Android, Chrome, and Ubuntu, he said.

“Chrome and Android represent $46 billion of opportunity and is growing at 12 percent,” Weisler said.

As an example, Weisler brandished the new Chromebook 11 jointly developed with Google (see photo at bottom).

And it’s not just Chrome and Android. He talked about a major a new contract in India for systems running on Ubuntu.

HP is not giving up on the PC market, of course. The market is still a $170 billion global market, he said. But it’s declining.

“The traditional PC market declined faster than we thought it would,” Weisler said.

He did cite opportunities, even in the shrinking Windows-Intel market. They include all-in-ones, workstations, and thin clients.

HP executive vice president Dion Weisler shows of the Chromebook 11 on Wednesday at the HP Securities Analyst meeting.
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HP rarely makes tablets, but when it does… it makes about 5 per time. – But the company’s most exciting Slate is built by someone else

When HP saw its position as the world’s number one PC manufacturer shaken by the Apple iPad, the company vowed it would build an entire portfolio of Android and Windows slates to cement its role. Today, the company has revealed a blitz of five new tablets, ranging from the decidedly cheap to the fairly sophisticated. The odd part is that out of those five slates, possibly the most exciting one isn’t built by HP itself. Like a variety of other manufacturers, HP has decided to sell a rebranded Nvidia Tegra Note.

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STYLUS SUPPORT AND A LOW PRICE COULD MAKE THE TEGRA NOTE DESIRABLE

HP calls it the Slate 7 Extreme, and the Tegra 4 tablet offers a variety of features that instantly set it apart from the rest of the pack. First and foremost, it comes with a pull-out stylus pen which offers bothexceptionally precise and fluid input, and the ability to literally capture an image of anything you see on screen by drawing a lasso around it. Second, the five-megapixel camera around back uses Nvidia’s computational photography engine to take smooth slow motion videos and instantly capture HDR images to better expose light and dark regions. You can even tap on a spot on screen to see a live HDR preview. We also got to try a demo of the Tegra Note’s game controller support: the idea is that you can plug the tablet into your TV, then control the entire Android operating system from your couch with any compatible Bluetooth controller.

While the Slate 7 Extreme and its likely $199 price point was the most impressive thing HP had to show, the tablet’s comparatively low-res 1280 x 800 screen was easily overshadowed by the new HP Slate 8 Pro. Here, HP’s obviously gunning to show up the next iPad mini by offering a beautiful 7.9-inch, high-res 1600 x 1200 display with the same 4:3 aspect ratio as Apple’s tablets. The prototype felt fairly thin, light, and reasonably solid, though not nearly as well-put together as the actual iPad mini by a long shot. Still, the Tegra 4 processor inside promises some impressive mobile gaming chops should more developers latch onto the Android platform. Unless you’re attached to HP, though, or the price is sufficently low, it’d be hard to see many buying this over a $229 Google Nexus 7 with all it has to offer.

 

Windows was also in attendance with the company’s new Omni 10 slate, which putsIntel’s new Bay Trail processors into a 10-inch package with what looked like an excellent 1080p display. The Omni 10 will come with 2GB of RAM, up to 128GB of solid state storage, and an 8-megapixel camera, but only include Wi-Fi connectivity to start. It also requires an ugly barrel connector to charge, has few ports, and there’s no obvious way to attach functional accessory docks or physical keyboards. The prototype charging dock we saw, connected only by that barrel jack, was difficult to dock reliably.

LOTS OF CHOICES, BUT ARE ANY WORTHWHILE?

Last but not least are HP’s plays for the disposable Android tablet realm, in the form of the Slate 7 HD and Slate 10 HD. The “HD” name is a bit of a red herring: if you consider 720p to be high definition, they technically qualify, but both are equipped with low-res 1280 x 800 screens. Their stippled plastic backs come in an attractive red and a simple silver, but there’s nothing particularly exciting under the hood, just a low-end Marvell PXA986 processor with built in 3G cellular support, front and rear cameras, microSD expansion, and Beats Audio. Hopefully, they’re an extremely cheap replacement for the original HP Slate 7, as they don’t even have the steel rim that gave that device a touch of class and a sense of solidity.

The company’s definitely in the tablet market now, but we’re not yet sure it has what it takes to compete. HP says these tablets will all ship sometime in November, but didn’t provide prices or firm release dates.

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New designs, laptops and awesome HP tablets

HP fall 2013 launchToday, we announced A LOT of new gear here on the HP blog. By that I mean, a new powerhouse laptop with a Leap Motion controller sensor built in; Even more – and even cooler – additions to the x2 line of 2-in-1 detachable PCs. That’s saying nothing of the ton of new tablets to surface this week.

 

So think of this story as a quick little hub to all the other announcements we’re making…and feel free to jump off this page to get deeper dives about what is exciting you. Trust me, there is plenty of cool stuff to get excited about here.

 

Why you need to see HP’s new Tegra 4 tablets

Wasn’t too long ago I was extoling the virtues of the NVIDIA Tegra 4-fueled Slatebook x2. The Slatebook x2 – the best of laptop and tablet slammed together in a portable package was only the start. Today, we’re unleashing a number of new models including the Slate7 Extreme and Slate8 Pro. Both of which offer high-resolution screens and one feature that make these awesome gaming devices for your house. What is that? Learn more by clicking through to the full story.

 

 

 

A new, slim Spectre Ultrabook appears

When you hear about a new Spectre computer, you need to pay attention. So perk your ears up for more details around the new Spectre13 Ultrabook. I’d say this guy is razor-thin, but really, its desk pen thin. Curious to see how a device this small manages to crank out a gorgeous 2560 by 1400 pixel picture? You’ve got to click the link and see for yourself.

 

 

HP tablets, detachables hit Intel’s Bay Trail

Last week during IDF, Intel trumpeted the release of its Bay Trail platform – these chips are incredibly well-suited for going mobile. What I couldn’t tell you until now is that there are two interesting developments on the HP side – a new Pavilion 11-inch 2-in-1 (HP Pavilion11 x2) and a 10-inch tablet (HP Omni10) – that are pretty awesome thanks to having Bay Trail under the hood. Now I can reveal…well, not “ALL,” but certainly more.

 

HP’s ENVY 17: Leap Motion + NVIDIA graphics

Take a high-powered desktop replacement laptop. Load it with a meaty CPU. Insert NVIDIA graphics as an upgrade. How about the gorgeous 1920 by 1080-pixel, 17.3-inch touchscreen? Then embed Leap Motion controls into the keyboard. Stop and think about that for a second. This is the first laptop with Leap Motion technology onboard – you don’t need to actually touch anything to control apps. Suddenly, you’ve got a laptop that lets you do everything you need and interact with it the way you want. Pretty sweet, right? If you aren’t going to read beyond this paragraph, that is the new ENVY17 Leap Motion Special Edition. But you want to click through to get some more details….and a watch how it works.

 

Meet the new Spectre 13 x2 and Split 13 x2: Two sexy 2-in-1 PCs

Before I even really get into the Spectre13 x2 and new Split13 x2, you need to understand one thing: these are the types of devices I’ve been craving for ages. They are thin-and-speedy little laptops that also transform into tablets. I’ve talked you guys to death about the many ways I love our x2s – the backup battery built into the keyboard base, the optional extra hard drive in the Split x2…and the pure flexibility is just awesome. But take all that, make it more metal and squeeze it into a slim form factor. NOW we’re talkin’!

 

SO? Which x2 is for you (or me)?

HP’s got at least five different kinds of x2 models, “how the heck am I supposed to pick the right one?!?! “What’s the deal between the Android and Windows 8 versions?” Well, that’s where this story is going to help. I’ve updated this list to go into a few more of the new x2 models shipping soon. If you’re on the market for a detachable 2-in-1 PC, check this story first.

 

 

FREE data for the people!!!

One last thing that I wanted to point out to you. As you’re looking through these stories and all the stuff we have coming out, you should know that HP has partnered with T-Mobile to deliver a data hookup to you for select products. If you’re buying one of our new WWAN-enabled devices (which include the HP Chromebook14, the Slate7 HD 3G and Slate10 HD 3G), you get 200MB of 4G data per month for two years. Nice, right? That’ll help you if you’re without WiFi in a pinch and need to grab your email in a hurry. PROTIP: Just don’t download all those email attachments (they add up quick)! Want to add 1GB of data a month? It’s a $10/month, no-contract charge. Want to learn more? Head over to: http:\\www.hp.com/go/freemobility

 

 

All right, question time: Out of all the news that we put online today, what are you most excited about getting hands on — and why?

leave a reply in the comment section below. Thank you!

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Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will embed motion-tracking cameras into laptops next year!!!

Kinect-like motion tracking cameras could be built right into your laptop next year. At the 2013 Intel Developer Conference (IDF), Intel announced that Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo will place 3D-depth cameras right inside the screen bezel of computers, starting in the second half of 2014.

Intel’s had its eye on motion tracking for some time now, first announcing a partnership with GestureTek back in 2010, working with SoftKinetic and Creative on its perceptual computing initiative, and then acquiring gesture recognition company Omek earlier this year. While previous efforts relied on users mounting pricey external cameras to their monitor, Intel has now built a tiny USB module that can fit right inside the screen. The company says we should expect it to appear in both laptops and all-in-one computers, and showed off reference designs of each on the IDF stage.

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