Computers Unplugged: The Wireless Future Of Your PC

There’s a monster lurking behind your desk. A tangled mess of electrical snakes is making its way from your computer to your outlet, and if you’re like many people, every time you bump a speaker off the desk you’re faced with the frustrating inconvenience of having to fish it out from a space you’ve designed to have minimal working room. Heaven forbid you should jostle a cord loose, and have to hunt through that train wreck. Wouldn’t it be so much easier of your system just didn’t have cords at all? Many technologies do, but dependency on battery life makes it pretty impractical for a stationary object when plugging it in provides persistent and importantly consistent power. Intel intends to solve your corded woes, and as early as 2016 the tech might be commercially available. Kirk Skaugen, GM of Intel’s PC client business has shown off a design called Skylake, at the Computex 2014 event. The device can charge wirelessly through a table. It even has enough power left over to power a few other small devices. The wireless charging is built to A4WP (Alliance for Wireless Power) standards, a non-profit organization dedicated to untangling wires across the world. All of this is leading up to Intel’s vision of the wireless, and even portless, home computer.

“Today, there’s basically four reasons you have a wire, and remember that Centrino was all about unwiring the Ethernet cable. The processor after Broadwell , we’ll do reference designs where you literally do not have to hook a cable to your machine, ever. Over time, there’s no reason to have ports,” Skaugen explains.

So even your ethernet cable and the cords to other peripherals are on the chopping block. Though don’t expect all your wired devices to go wireless at once.

Kirk Skaugen speaks of a world free of wires and the electrical issues that come with them. Photo credit:

Several other companies are moving forward with the tech as well, such as Dell, Fujitsu and Lenovo. So intel isn’t going to be pushing the tech alone. This means seeing this as the standard and not just a gimmick is becoming more and more likely. Considering this wireless tech is already available in current Ultrabooks consumers can already start to prepare for the changes ahead. Unravelling the tangled web and ushering us into a new wireless age isn’t the only thing Intel wants to change. They also intend to penetrate an even deeper rooted system, passwords. In spite of all the more secure options available today like fingerprint recognitions and retinal scanning, but commercially passwords dominate the security world for the common consumer. Skaugen elaborated, “Our vision, very simply, is we’re gonna eliminate all passwords. We think that with multi-factor authentication, your voice and your face can be enough to authenticate you into the world’s most secure websites. Into Windows.” Truly eliminating the password is going to require a lot more work than ports however. The most popular brands of computers can all get on board and use the tech, but it’s going to be a while before obscure web-sites feel confident they aren’t blocking out potential users just because they don’t have a webcam. The tech that powers such recognition will have to be built into the computer itself, and all of this is currently traditionally not something you expect from your PC. However, these are all things we do expect built into our wireless mobile devices and the transition to PCs that can meet those same demands seem like they might actually be easier to accomplish. Your typical PC certainly has a lot more room for them, and a lot more processing power. A world without wires would certainly be welcome. We’ll have one less thing to trip on besides ourselves.

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