Intel demonstrates low-powered CPU that draws power from red wine

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The closing day of Intel’s annual Developer Forum is typically reserved to highlight future-looking projects and this year was no different. In-house anthropologist Dr. Genevieve Bell demonstrated a processor that is so efficient that it can draw the power it needs from a glass of red wine.

The wine glass in question used two electrodes that reacted with the acetic acid in the red wine to power a low-powered processor and accelerometer. It’s similar in theory to the potato battery that children have used in science fairs for years although Bell wanted to show that even the slightest bit of power could run Intel silicon.

Through the demonstration Bell said it is possible to start to imagine a world of incredibly low-power devices that also offer high performance. This will help unburden people – especially those in developing countries – and give us a pathway to wearable technology with the ability to power things like constant sensing, communication and computing – all of which are necessary for our mobile future, she said.

Elsewhere, Lama Nachman, principal engineer at Intel Labs, joined Bell to demonstrate a few other nifty ideas in mobile. One involved voice recognition to unlock a phone while the other used the accelerometer in a handset to record a user’s gait while walking which was then used to unlock the phone. When movements were mimicked by another person, the phone noticed the subtle differences and locked the system down.

Technology like this is still likely years away but it’s neat to get a glimpse into what the future may hold.

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