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Intel Tweaking Its Edison Effort for Tiny Computers, First Products Still Due This Summer

Intel's Edison for tiny computers is a little less tiny.


Still struggling to gain ground in phones, Intel is trying to speed up its effort to find a place in ever smaller computers.

Intel showed off Project Edison back at CES and since then the company has been working to both refine the product and connect with projects interested in using the tiny computer.

“It was amazing,” Mike Bell said of the reaction. “People came out of the woodwork with ideas.”

One thing that would-be customers asked for was more input pins, so Intel decided to make the first product slightly bigger (about a millimeter longer). That means it won’t be the exact same size as an SD card, but developers said they preferred the larger size.

“We think a lot more people will be able to use it as is,” Bell said. “By making these couple of changes we’ve really opened it up to a bigger market. We have a better product for people. It’s more flexible and it will come out in the same time frame.”

The first Edison-based products should come out this summer. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich plans to show off the revised design at the Chinese version of its Intel Developer Forum, which takes place next week in Shenzhen.

Bell said he couldn’t talk about some of the first actual products, but pointed to wearable computing such as a smart football helmet as the kind of thing that Edison enables.

Intel also this week closed its purchase of the company behind the Basis band fitness wearable.

“They have expertise, deep tech expertise in this area no one else has and I definitely want to bring that on the team,” Bell said. “You will see that technology proliferate over time into almost everything we do.”

Bell noted that Basis also has a product that is shipping, versus just an idea, giving Intel experience in what customers actually want.

“These guys have already gone through the pain,” Bell said. Plus, he said, the health category is going to be a big market for wearables.

“They haven’t just built a step counter with lights on it,” he added.

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