Xiaomi Unveils ’90 Minutes Ultra Smart Sportswear’ Shoes Powered by Intel

There are very few companies that can boast of a product portfolio as diverse as Xiaomi. Now, the Chinese company has expanded its product range even further as it has launched its smart shoes powered by Intel technology. The ’90 Minutes Ultra Smart Sportswear’ shoes (yes, this is the name) come with Intel’s Curie chip and provide users with information such as distance travelled and calories burnt.

The smart shoes from Xiaomi, developed by Shanghai-based Runmi Technology Co. Ltd, come with 60 days of battery life and have Intel’s compact Curie chip that stores all the fitness related data, reports GizChina. The shoes are reportedly aimed at professional runners/athletes and come with arch design and anti-skid features.Xiaomi Unveils '90 Minutes Ultra Smart Sportswear' Shoes Powered by Intel

The shoes are able to detect movement and can be used for walking, running, or even climbing, as per the report. The smart shoes from Xiaomi are available in Black and Surf Blue colour options for men while Black and Pink colour options for women. Further there is a special “Blue Edition” of the shoes that glows in the dark.

The shoes have been priced at CNY 299 (roughly Rs. 2,900) and will be available from the company’s crowdfunded Mijia platform via the Mi Home website, and shipments begin from April 15.

It should be noted that these shoes are currently available for purchase exclusively in China. If you can look past the name, it does appear to be an attractive offering from the company at an affordable price.

 

Intel Unveils Drones for Advanced Pitch Analysis at ICC Champions Trophy 2017

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Intel Falcon 8 Drone will perform advanced pitch analysis
Speculur BatSense will help players analyse their strokeplay
Intel also showcased VR experiences for fans at The Oval and Edgbaston
Intel on Tuesday unveiled three new technologies that will be used during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 — a major cricket tournament that begins in the United Kingdom on June 1. The new technologies announced on Tuesday are advanced pitch analysis via an Intel drone, a bat sensor powered by an Intel Curie module, and a virtual reality experience for cricket fans who visit stadiums.

The Intel Falcon 8 Drone has been equipped with infrared and HD cameras to be used for pitch analysis during Champions Trophy matches. The drone will offer data on grass cover, grass health, and topology. This will help generate daily pitch reports and commentators will use that to analyse the pitch during live broadcasts of the match on TV and over the Internet. The pitch is one of the most important aspects of cricket and it has the power to decide which way each game swings, so this analysis is likely to prove useful.Intel Unveils Drones for Advanced Pitch Analysis at ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Intel, which is the Official Innovation Partner for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, says the new bat sensor, called Speculur BatSense, can be mounted on any cricket bat and will be able to measure back-lift, bat speed, and follow through for every stroke a batsman plays. Many players will be using this during the Champions Trophy and it will allow for data such as speed of the ball after it hits the bat to be shown on TV.
Intel has plans for these sensors beyond the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. In a statement, Speculur Managing Director Atul Srivastava said, “Coaches can use their insights and expertise along with the bat sensor data to make specific adjustments to a batsman’s technique ultimately helping him perform better.” The company will bring this technology to the market later in 2017 and it will first be available in Australia, India, US, and UK.

Finally, Intel is also going to showcase VR cricket experiences at The Oval (London) and Edgbaston (Birmingham) stadiums. This is a fun experience where people will be able to play cricket in virtual reality. With a VR headset mounted, people can test their batting skills against virtual bowlers. The bat used for this will use Intel’s Curie module and offer data on people’s bat speed and back-lift, among other stats.

 

Intel ships latest Itanium chip called Kittson, but grim future looms

Intel’s Itanium chip is hanging by a thread, and after more than three years, the company is now shipping the next and possibly final version of the processor, which is code-named Kittson.Itanium

The chip is now shipping to test customers, and volume shipments will commence later this year, a company spokesman said.

Itanium chips have been used in mainframes and mission-critical servers. Hewlett Packard Enterprise will ship servers with Kittson later this year.

Itanium has been dying a slow and painful death, and Kittson will likely be the end of the line. Support for the chip has been dwindling, and software development has stalled.

Intel may be happy to see Itanium sink as it looks to drop irrelevant products in its pursuit of profitable markets. Intel has been openly lobbying customers to switch from Itanium to x86-based Xeon chips, which commands a server chip market share of more than 90 percent.

Itanium is in maintenance mode, and “you won’t see much more going forward,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

Intel developed Itanium in conjunction HP, and the first chip was released in 2001. The goal of the superfast chip was to replace older mainframe architectures like SPARC and to compete with IBM’s Power.

InteI considered Itanium the architecture of choice for future high-performance chips. But the Itanium chips flopped and couldn’t outrun SPARC or Power. Itanium’s biggest enemy was Intel’s own Xeon chip, which became successful with mass adoption in fast-growing low-end and mid-range server markets. Intel then put more resources into developing Xeon.

Itanium has been in the news for the wrong reasons. The chip’s slow death gained attention when Oracle decided to stop writing software for the architecture in 2011, after it determined the chip “was nearing the end of its life.” Microsoft also pulled the plug on Itanium software development.

Intel hasn’t provided an Itanium roadmap ahead of Kittson. The new chip succeeds the older Itanium 9500 series code-named Poulson, which started shipping in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The only big vendor still installing Itanium in servers is HPE, which puts the chip in mission-critical Integrity servers. HPE has reassured customers that it is committed to supporting Itanium until 2025, but the company is also successfully convincing customers to switch over to Xeon chips.

HPE will release servers based on the new Itanium chips later this year, a spokeswoman for the company said in an email.

“We are refreshing our HPE Integrity Servers with HP-UX to take advantage of Kittson in the second half of 2017,” the spokeswoman said.

HPE has kept Itanium support active until 2025 mainly due to long-term customer commitments. Many Itanium customers are government agencies, which sign long-term deals with vendors to supply and support servers.

In addition to Unix-based HP-UX, the Integrity servers run on Linux and OpenVMS. OpenVMS will get Kittson support in the fourth quarter, according to a recently updated OS product roadmap on the website of VMS Software, which is leading the software development.

Many customers may skip Kittson and jump to x86, but that could be an expensive proposition, McGregor said. The process involves porting legacy code over to new systems based on x86, and that process could take years.

Some Itanium users—especially financial organizations who rely on the rock-solid servers for transactions—may not be willing to take the risk.

“Sooner or later these guys have to convert to something else,” McGregor said.

HPE and Dell are offering services to port code over from mainframe systems to newer x86 servers, but the process is complicated and requires a lot of testing to ensure the code is stable.