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Upgrade Your Life

Post image for Energy Conservation & Caring for the Elderly – 2 Topics of Today with Huge Impacts for Tomorrow

A few weeks ago, I participated in the Intel “Upgrade Your Life” 2011 summit in Intel’s Santa Clara, CA campus. This was the second year I attended and after both summits, I always managed to walk away with a headache. But, not a “bad” headache by that definition, but a “good” one. Think about when you go for a very hard run or work out for a long time and your muscles hurt and are sore when you are done…it was THAT type of a headache. In about 8 hours, my mind had sucked in so much new information, that it literally hurt from all of the exercise.

Now THAT'S a chip! Intel Upgrade Your Life 2011

The participants of the “Upgrade Your Life” 2011 event all seemed to have something in common, we were all bloggers and most of us were parents as well and many of us, like me, also write about technology. There were only 2 males/dads in the group, me and Jeff Sass (Jeff and I are 2/5ths of the Cast of Dads podcast), and we did a video recap of some of the things that impressed us about this event in this video “2/5ths of the Cast of Dads Get Their Brains Upgraded at Intel’s ‘Upgrade Your Life’ 2011 Event”. But I thought that I would dive into two other important topics that came from the Intel Labs group: Energy Conservation and Caring for the Elderly.

First off, I have always expressed how much I like the Labs division of companies and Intel’s is no exception. As part of the Intel Advisors program (another group I actively participate in with Intel), some of our best informational conference calls and presentations in my opinion were the ones where people from the Intel Labs group would present us with some new projects that they are working on. So, the two topics of this post and the videos below (from the “Upgrade Your Life” event) are from the Labs groups. There were other quite interesting demonstrations, but I found these two to be timely and critical to think about in this day and age.

I actually got a bit scared when listening to the presentations on these two topics: Energy Conservation and Caring for the Elderly. These are two topics that we need to be not only thinking about, but acting on NOW. And this is exactly what Intel is doing. [click to continue…]


A few months ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Intel “Upgrade Your Life” Summit up at the Intel Campus in Oregon. During this day long event, the attendees got brief introductions to a variety of technologies  that Intel has direct influence over or has been developing. But much of the meeting was focused on different initiatives that Intel is undertaking, whether the be around “being green” or studying how people use television or how to get technology better working in Education. We were also introduced to some gadgets that Intel believes can help humankind. One of these devices was called the “Classmate PC” which is essentially a laptop/tablet for kids.

I was loaned a Classmate PC to really understand the types of nuances that Intel thinks about when designing devices. And, it is important to remember that they are not the ones who are actually designing the laptops, but rather they are working with OEMs and Software Developers to design hardware devices that meet certain needs. Yes, the Classmate does have an Intel Atom processor in it, but the laptop/tablet is designed by other manufacturers with Intel’s help. Intel does have a pretty strong say in how the devices will be made, especially since they, as part of their Learning Series, do many studies and observations of classroom and children interacting with not only technology but also with their peers and teachers. This allows these Learning Series devices to have characteristics and qualities that are often not seen in other types of consumer devices.


There are some key factors that go into the design of the Classmate PC which has already gone through a variety of design iterations over the years:

  • Ruggedness – the design must be rugged. It has to handle the somewhat rough play of children, be able to withstand a fall or a glass of liquid spilled on it
  • Full featured – an important thing is that the Classmate retain the full workings of a standard computer. Frequently dumbed-down or highly customized computers actually can be counterproductive when it comes to teaching children about technology
  • Energy Efficient – the Classmate, which is running the energy efficient Atom processor, needs to be able to last for quite a few hours in the classroom
  • Portability – it is important for this laptop to be very portable. The Classmate has a no-slip, grippy texture to it making it easy to grab, but it also has a handle built right into it
  • Multi-Use – perhaps one of the greatest qualities is the screen, which is touch-enabled, and can pivot and transform the Classmate from a “clamshell” laptop into a full touch-screen tablet. And, the touchscreen is the type where a child’s palm can be resting on the surface yet still be sensitive enough to pick up the drawing done by the included pen/stylus.
  • Connected – not only can the Classmate connect via standard Ethernet and WiFi connections, it can also hook into cellular networks. Couple that with the webcam that can pivot from back to front, and you have a very connected and content creation-enabled device

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A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the Intel Upgrade Your Life” 2010 Summit (my announcement) which was a gathering of a variety of technology influencers and bloggers. At this summit, we were introduced to a number of different individuals representing different initiatives within Intel.


There were 10 of us invited to participate in some very intimate discussions and conversation related to a variety of aspects of Intel. After the 10 hours of intensive meetings, my brain truly hurt from all of the information that I absorbed.


Attendees were:

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A few months or so ago, I saw an interesting phrase from Intel fly by on Twitter. It was the line “Upgrade Your Life” which I thought was a very creative melding of technology and real life. I was definitely intrigued. To my surprise and pleasure, a few weeks ago, I was invited to attend an all-day summit on June 2nd titled “Upgrade Your Life” on the Intel Hillsboro campus where I would be meeting with several notable technology bloggers and “digital influencers” as well as key Intel staff members in a series of round-table discussions revolving around one’s digital life.


The list of invited attendees is a stellar one and I feel humbled to be included in the list.

For more information about the event, please see the Intel’s InsiderScoop blog post.

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