Meet Edison: A computer that is smaller than an SD card

How small a computer can get? If you ask Intel it is already as small as an SD card! On Monday, Intel unveiled Edison, a computer housed in an “SD card form factor”. The device uses Quark microprocessor technology that was shown by Intel a few months ago. Intel CEOBrian Krzanich said that the “computer” is meant to be used in wearable smart devices like a health tracker or in everyday products like coffee mugs that has to be connected to the internet.Edison has built-in wireless capabilities and support for multiple operating systems. “It is a full system. It’s a full Pentium-class PC in the form factor of an SD card,” said Krzanich. Edison will be available in the middle of 2014.

“Wearables are not everywhere today because they aren’t yet solving real problems and they aren’t yet integrated with our lifestyles,” said Krzanich. “We’re focused on addressing this engineering innovation challenge. Our goal is, if something computes and connects, it does it best with Intel inside.”

In his keynote address at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Krzanich showed an example of Edison can be used. He said that it can be attached to the clothes of a baby. This will allow parents to monitor the baby even if they are not in the same room. For example, if the coffee mug used by parents also has Edison and can connect to the internet, it can talk to the device attached to the baby’s clothes and tell parents whenever the baby is getting uncomfortable.

Edison is Intel’s attempt to not repeat the mistake it made in the smartphone market. With smartphones and tablets, Intel failed to see the trend and did not address the market properly until 2012. Now when the companies are expected to push smart glasses and smart watches, Intel intends to not repeat the mistake it made earlier.

“Most of my career a computer has been something you hold in your hand […] or sits on your desk… That idea is about to be transformed,” said Krzanich.

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