Intel Unveils tiniest computer button at CES 2015 on Tuesday. (Photo: Intel)

CES 2015: Intel Shows Off Button-Sized ‘Curie’ Wearable Computer

In what could be a befitting tribute to atomic pioneer Marie Curie a century later, Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, has unveiled a button-sized computer, shrinking the device from the stamp-size computer chip showcased last year.

“Last year we introduced Edison — basically a computer the size of a postage stamp, but as engineers we knew we could do better. And I have to tell you, we’ve done it,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showing the button-sized Curie at the Consumer Electronics Show keynote speech on Tuesday, concluding the CES 2015.

The Curie computer that he wore as a button on his jacket was just plucked off to show it to the stunned audience. Intel chip inside tracks motion, sports wi-fi connectivity and runs on a tinier battery.

But the miniatured button computer cannot match the PCs or lapstops for daily needs but can be built-in mechanism to help werable devices which can add on as a health-monitoring device or to measure body’s fitness and other signals.

Essentially, the Curie button computer cannot work as a stand-alone computing device but certainly it can be embedded on easily wearable clothes, finger-rings, wrist watches or even goggles. Intel said the device is supplementary to device creators like Oakley and Nike for their high-end products.

More than the Curie button, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich pledged during the keynote address that Intel plans to spend $300 million over the next five years to help build an industry-wide diverse workforce, shunning ethnicity and gender discrimination.

“A confluence of industry events has brought this issue to the center stage, from the threats and harassments that have characterized the debate in the gaming world, to the publication of hiring data and diversity statistics in the tech industry, this is a highly relevant issue and one that we all need to address,” Krzanich said in his keynote.

“I am here to say tonight it’s time to step up and do more. It’s not good enough to say we value diversity and then have our workplaces and our industry not reflect the full availability and talent pool of women and under-represented minorities. Tonight, I’m announcing Intel’s intention to lead by example and invite the entire technology industry to join us.”

The need for gender equality is essential for Intel, which has male-dominated workforce at 76% men and 24% women in 2013, far below the industry average, necessitating the bold move to make it reasonable.

Krzanich also said that Intel will co-opt with the likes of International Game Developers Association, the E-Sports League, the National Center for Women in Technology, the CyberSmile Foundation, the Feminist Frequency and Rainbow PUSH to push for new programs under the initiative.

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