By Mark Sutton in San Francisco
Initiatives with Yahoo! and DreamWorks to take Intel into internet-enabled TV and 3D movie technology
Intel announced two new major initiatives for the world of entertainment today at the Intel Developer Forum.
At the event in San Francisco, Intel announced a partnership with Yahoo! to bring internet services to television, and a tie up with animation studio DreamWorks on next generation 3D movie technology.
The TV initiative with Yahoo! includes the development of Intel Architecture platform technology that will be included in consumer electronics devices, and a software platform for developers to make online services and applications that are tailored directly to the television.
Eric Kim, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Digital Home Group said: “TV will fundamentally change how we talk about, imagine and experience the Internet. No longer just a passive experience unless the viewer wants it that way, Intel and Yahoo! are proposing a way where the TV and internet are as interactive and seamless as possible.”
Kim said that Intel was driven to develop new ideas for television based on the desire of TV viewers to get more interactive, richer experience, but without interfering with the inherent simplicity of the TV set. The company has conducted a large amount of research on how people interact with television, and has based its work on the research findings.
The services that have been developed by Yahoo! and Intel will use Yahoo’s Widget Engine, to enable developers to create small applications that give access to data like weather, news, stocks, advertising and so on, without interfering with what the viewer is watching.
By using the Intel architecture and an industry standard application platform, the intention is to enable developers to quickly and easily create new applications for viewers. In the demonstration presented at IDF, Intel showed TV widgets from companies such as Blockbuster, Disney, MTV, Twitter and eBay, combining traditional TV content services such as listings, with Web 2.0 applications.
On the hardware side Intel has developed its first IA System On Chip (SOC) media processor, the CE 3100, which will enable full audio-visual performance, including HD, in consumer electronics devices like TVs, while providing hardware and software capability with the Intel platform. The SOC uses less than 10w of power, meaning it does not require a fan.
Intel reported that it has been supplying the CE 3100 to major electronics manufacturers, including Samsung and Toshiba, for the past six months, and that the first devices based on the new platform will be on the market in a matter of weeks.
For cinema goers, Intel and DreamWorks unveiled new technology that is intended to bring 3D movies into the digital age.
Under the ‘InTru 3D’ brand, the new 3D cinema combines Intel’s graphics processing technology with updated 3D glasses to create a three dimensional viewing experience.
Speaking at the event, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberger said that the company was so enthusiastic about the new technology, that as of next year, DreamWorks intends to make all of its movies available in 3D.
“The movie industry has had two revolutionary changes - from silent to synchronized sound, and from black and white to colour,” Katzenberger said. “We believe the film industry is about to enter a third period of revolutionary change. Just as digital technology has drastically altered special effects, so InTru 3D will completely change 3D into medium that can replicate the most remarkable human sense of all – the sense of sight.”
At present only 1,150 screens worldwide are capable of showing InTru 3D films, but Katzenberger said that the technology was being ordered by thousands of additional establishments.
IDF attendees were treated to two sneak previews of the technology, with full 3D clips from both DreamWorks’ current hit Kung Fu Panda, and its forthcoming film Monsters vs Aliens, which will be DreamWorks first complete feature using the 3D technology.
For more on InTru 3D and the rest of IDF, see the ITP.net blog.