Intel's Shmuel "Mooly" Eden took the stage today at the company's CES 2012 press conference to discuss Ultrabooks and a handful of features that should move the category forward. Among other things, the excecutive boasted over 75 different ultrabook designs would be coming in 2012 -- 50 percent of those in 14- and 15-inch sizes -- and said many of those would come in below the standard $1,000 price point.

Besides showing off a few demonstration units on stage, Eden talked up some of the capabilities of their next generation Ivy Bridge microprocessors, which will bring much-improved graphics performance and support for NFC payments. He wouldn't disclose any specific details about the upcoming parts besides mentioning up to 70% gains in graphics performance and a 20% reduction in power draw compared to Sandy Bridge.

A couple of live demos were run to back those claims where Intel executives compressed a photo album of 100 photos in a matter of seconds and edited some animations in real-time. Regarding the newly-announced NFC capabilities of Ivy Bridge, Eden touted the platform's security by saying an individual credit card can be assigned to a specific notebook. If the credit card is lost or stolen, it won’t work with another notebook.

intel bring touch voice recognition gesture ultrabooks
Mooly Eden demos the Nikiski concept PC (source: AnadTech)

Looking ahead, Eden said future Ultrabook models will get multitouch displays to complement keyboard input and push their functionality to a new level. At the same time he took a jab a tablets -- a market it hasn't been able to break into -- by saying Ultrabooks are full-on computers and not just consumption devices. "Consumption is good for cows; we are humans; all of us would like to express ourselves," he said.

Intel also announced a partnership with Nuance to bring speech recognition to ultrabooks later this year and briefly demonstrated a few other concepts we may or may not see in Ultrabooks at some point in the future, including Kinect-like gesture controls and a laptop codenamed Nikiski, which has a transparent touchpad accross the bottom edge of the the machine that can display basic laptop data when the lid is closed.