We saw some impressive demonstrations during Intel’s Keynote presentation at CES 2016, and wearable tech was one of the starring themes. Numerous speakers joined the Intel CEO on stage introducing their products driven by Intel technology. We saw smartglasses from Oakley, fashion tech from Chromat, an augmented reality smart construction helmet from Daqri, 3D printed shoes from New Balance and more.
A sizeable part of the presentation was focused on a device no larger than a cufflink, not surprising as Intel are in the habit of spawning teeny-weeny tech. The little gizmo is called Intel Curie. We’d already seen it in 2015 but not in all of its glory.
The bite-size Curie module is about to be unleashed to stretch the boundaries of what’s possible with wearable tech. Curie is designed to transform human interaction with sports and bring real-time statistics to athletes and their audiences.
It was demonstrated on stage with an impressive live BMX show where two riders, Victor Salazar and Perris Benegas performed tricks with the Curie module attached to their bikes. One of the riders performed a Tailwhip and the other performed a Big Air. The moves were tracked in 3D space by Curie and the resulting data was instantly displayed on-screen showing the trick type, trick speed, height, landing impact, flip and spin.
Emphasis was also on snowboarding and the upcoming X Games in Aspen. A short video showed the Intel Curie tracking all sorts of metrics in real-time, such G-force on takeoff and landing, air time, flip, rotation, jump distance, jump height and speed – all displayed live on-screen for audiences and judges.
Intel Curie – Wearable tech for Parkour..
Curie isn’t all about equipment, i.e, attaching it to BMX’s and boards. It can also be worn on the body to provide the same kind of feedback. One of the many announcements made by the Intel CEO was a partnership with Red Bull and the way they’re using the Curie sensor hub.
The star of the demonstration was Red Bull’s resident Parkour expert Jason Paul. A short video showed the freerunner executing some moves on the streets of Las Vegas while wearing the Intel Curie. He performed a Two-Step Wall Flip with Curie tracking his rotation, height and hang time.
Then, a Double Kong with Curie measuring his body angle to ground.
Next, an Aerial Twist off the roof of some poor cowboy’s car, with Curie tracking landing G-force, degree of spin, spin speed and then a few moves on the exit.
Finally, some Back Handsprings with the amount of flips, landing impact and total rotation all being measured in real-time by Curie. After the video the athlete flipped his way onto the stage and performed some live moves for the CES crowd.
The tiny Curie module will be at the heart of sporting wearables arriving in the near future, and Intel technology will be driving many other wearable devices into 2016 and beyond.
It’s actually quite refreshing to be writing about a performance-based wearable that does something other than tracking heart rate, steps, calories and sleep..
The Curie module has the ability to run for long periods from a coin-sized battery. Inside is Bluetooth LE, a 32-bit Intel Quark SE SoC processor and a 6-axis combo sensor. It will be shipping in volume during Q1 of 2016 along with Intel IQ software kits so developers can get involved with shaping the future of sports.