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Intel Points Wearables, Big Data At Cancer Research

At IDF, Intel execs discuss how an Intel-powered Internet of Things could lead to personalized cancer treatments.

blueprint for the industry." She also said Intel has created a curriculum to train oncologists in the use of big data.

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Intel says that by 2020, big data and health-oriented wearable devices will help doctors to create personalized cancer medicines in less than 24 hours.

Still, healthcare is an obvious target for wearables and big data; after all, Apple and other smartwatch OEMs have all included fitness-tracking functions in their first wearables. But Intel execs detailed broader wearable plans, beyond health applications.

The company announced its Analytics for Wearables (A-Wear) developer program, which lets partners tap Cloudera's Hadoop analytics platform and Intel's cloud. Krzanich and others also reviewed wearable products made by Intel partners. These include SMS Audio BioSport headphones that monitor the wearer's heart rate, an expensive and sketchily defined MICA smart bracelet by Opening Ceremony, and upcoming devices from watchmaker Fossil.

IDF presenters emphasized that wearable devices must fuse looks and functionality. Fossil executive VP and CMO Greg McKelvey, who joined Krzanich onstage during Tuesday's keynote, said his company joined up with Intel because "fashion and tech are impossible to do on your own."

Krzanich said Intel empowers its hardware partners via reference designs for new devices and new low-energy, IoT-oriented chips such as Quark, announced at IDF last year, and Edison, announced in January at CES.

Krzanich said Edison costs only $50 but offers device makers a range of capabilities, including dual-core processing, built-in connectivity, RAM, and expansion options that that include support for Arduino boards. Krzanich said he hopes Intel's open strategy and low-entry costs will engage the "maker" community of enthusiast tinkerers who build devices at home.

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Intel execs say the company's reference designs are helping partners bring wearable devices to market.

Krzanich also detailed its City Sense program. Currently deployed in Dublin, London, and San Jose, California, City Sense helps local governments monitor the environment by using sensors to track carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and other pollutants. Krzanich and other execs additionally stressed Intel's efforts to create "truly open" standards around IoT that ensure "the devices talk to each other."

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking delivered one of the conference's most affecting IoT pitches in a video played during Tuesday's keynote. Hawking, who is almost entirely paralyzed due to ALS, said Intel has helped to produce a sensor-equipped wheelchair that could dramatically improve quality of life for people with conditions like his. Hawking said the wheelchair demonstrates that IoT is an opportunity to change lives.

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