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Intel's 'Living Large' mantra threatens tour guide industry

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IDF If last night's meal of private deer parts and caterpillar fungus had not gone down so well, we might have struggled to digest Intel's latest slogan – "Carry small, Live large."

Yes indeed, Intel marched out a new marketing directive here at IDF China, hoping to woo the local crowd with its Western fluffery prowess. You can think of Carry small, Live large as the next stage of enlightenment that will follow the Atom processor's arrival on the scene. Today, Intel provides a chip for familiar mobile devices; tomorrow Intel will power a new class of products that funnel magical powers into the hands of humans.

What kinds of powers, you ask.

Well, the Carry small, Live large slogan covers an Intel research and development effort into smarter devices. The company, for example, envisions a day when you pop into an airline seat and witness your Blackberry communicate on its own with the back-of-seat display to show your email. As we understand it, the tray table will also turn into a keyboard, letting you type away with ease.

Intel refuses to see a future dominated by people "typing enormously quickly with their thumbs," proclaimed Intel senior fellow Kevin Kahn, during a speech.

Intel's future will be fingertized.

Along with the plane example, Kahn talked about work that would let people walk into a conference room and again have their laptop or hand-held communicate with a projector to display relevant content. Part of Intel's Living Large research revolves around making this type of communication as easy as possible. Or, in the parlance of the times, seamless.

That means deciding which device – the phone or the projector - should handle grunt work such as frame buffering, and Intel is committed to answering these difficult questions.

Intel's Living Large agenda may also result in the mass unemployment of tour guides everywhere.

Kahn talked about pointing your phone at something like Tienanmen Square, so that the on-board camera can recognize the site and then pull up information about its history and nearby caterpillar fungus stores.

It's an awe-inspiring, although not terribly fresh vision.

Technology pundits have spent so many years talking about intelligent devices. We're not quite sure the notion warranted its own slogan in 2008 from Intel. ®

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