Intel CEO Paul Otellini on Monday touted a more "proactive, personal Internet," but touched only briefly on security and privacy concerns in a world "where the information you need comes to you based on where you are and what you are doing."
Otellini, keynoting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, spent slightly over an hour discussing the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve near-total connectivity to a full Internet experience anywhere in the world and with the most portable devices imaginable. Kicking off his keynote with an Internet-focused reworking of The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," he spent the better part of his time playing the straight man to a series of guests wielding various eye-popping, bleeding edge gadgets, widgets and avatar-generators.
Moving from demo of a "Total Immersion" travelers' handset which could convert English to Mandarin out-loud and in real-time to a demonstration (with Smash Mouth frontman Steven Harwell) of the eJamming social network for musicians, the evening was clearly less about silicon and more about the ends to which it might be put. Otellini did spend a few minutes on Intel's new Canmore and Silverthorne platforms for consumer electronic and mobile Internet devices, but only to set up another round of banter with Harwell and others.
For Otellini, an Internet that constantly predicts the information we may need at any given moment has only a few technological obstacles, let alone very many drawbacks in terms of intrusiveness in our private lives.
"A transformation is clearly underway here. Today, we live in the era of the 'go-to' Internet. In this model, the Internet reacts to our requests, rather than predicting them. But we are talking about bringing a new level of capability and usefulness to the Internet. We're talking about a proactive, personal Internet," he said.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant is doing its part in building the hardware for such an Internet, Otellini said, as well as backing infrastructure plans like WiMAX to "blanket the globe with wireless broadband connectivity."
He singled out the Nintendo Wii as a game changer in how developers are looking at the interface between users, their devices and the Internet.
"To picture the transition to a more natural interface, think about the Wii. The popularity of it lies with the interface and not the graphics. You don't expect to play a game on the Wii, you expect to interact with it," he said.
As the parade of new technology marched across the stage, each new bit of eye candy more impressive than the last, Otellini seemed to sense that perhaps a disclaimer was warranted.
"We need to move from searching for information to a world where information finds you proactively. The Internet needs to know more about you, so the impetus is on us in the industry to provide the security and privacy that consumers need," he said, before ushering on another geek bearing gifts for a brave new World Wide Web.