IDF 2012: Intel to introduce Siri-like assistant to Ultrabooks

Intel IDF

Intel will include Nuance's Dragon dictation technology as standard in forthcoming Ultrabooks as the firm looks to push voice capabilities.

Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel told attendees that users "love voice" and Intel will be boosting capabilities for Ultrabooks, during the opening keynote at IDF.

"The [voice service] will run native on the platform [and] it is not a cloud service. This requires the high performing CPUs inside, so we're working with Nuance to tune the application," he said.

The latest edition of Nuance's Dragon voice recognition system was demonstrated on stage at IDF, with questions and commands being answered by a familiar Siri-like voice assistant.

Dragon will be able to assist users with Google searches, or even browse particular websites such as Amazon for products. The system will also be able to post tweets directly to Twitter and will understand commands even if improper grammar is used.

It is also expected to include support for commonly used business apps such as calendar and emails clients.

A beta version of Dragon on Ultrabooks will be made available in the third quarter of 2012, with production set to start in Q1 of 2013, Perlmutter confirmed on stage.

Intel has also teamed up with MasterCard to push contactless payment systems on Ultrabooks.

PayPass wallet service was launched in May and allows users to load up their virtual wallets with credit cards from any companies and use them to make wireless payments. Forthcoming Ultrabooks will feature NFC connectivity and users will be able to make payments by tapping when browsing the web.

The system will be combined with Intel's Identity protection technology and use device authentication.

"There is a tremendous opportunity to enable Ultrabooks with NFC payments, which will increase convenience," said Gary Flood, president global products and services at MasterCard.

To use the system customers will need an NFC enabled PayPass credit card. There is a cypher in the card and it carries out authentication via the cloud. Intel Identity Protection will also carry out a device level authentication with the Ultrabook to ensure there is no fraud.

When a user clicks on PayPass option on a website, users will simply need to tap the card and all information such as name, address, card details will be filled in. An exact launch date for NFC payments is yet to be determined, but it is expected to debut during the first quarter of 2013, with voice technology.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.