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Project Athena 1.0 is an advanced laptop target spec and design preview that Intel announced last week at the big Computex conference in Taiwan.

It’s coming soon. Intel says its hardware partners — including Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo — will offer Athena-compliant laptops in this year’s second half.

The Project Athena design is the result of years of research into how people use their PCs. Intel says that’s the key, rather than letting tech drive the user experience.

KEIs are key

To do this, Intel is working with what it calls KEIs, short for key experience indicators. KEIs in the 1.0 spec include battery life: 16 hours in local video-playback mode, and 9 hours in performance conditions.

Another of these specs is a system wakeup time from sleep of less than 1 second. Yet another: a 4-hour battery charge in just 30 minutes.

Guitarist with laptop

Laptops based on the Project Athena spec will also be compatible with OpenVINO, an AI toolkit for developing and deploying vision-oriented solutions on Intel platforms. OpenVINO is based on deep learning inference. It can be used for applications that include video streaming, image processing and computer vision.

Built-in voice assistance is also part of the Project Athena spec. As are thinner bezels, allowing for bigger, more immersive laptop displays.

Consumer pressure

To be clear, Project Athena is not a consumer brand, so don’t waste time looking for Athena-branded laptops.

Instead, as Gartner market analyst Bill Ray points out in a recent blog post, it’s an “aspirational collection of technologies that OEMs will have to bundle into a marketable product.”

Further, Ray adds, Intel is hoping that the Project Athena mandate impresses end users. That way, he writes, “they’ll ask PC manufacturers to incorporate all these new features and be willing to pay for them.”

 

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Devices