Intel Software and Services Group is rolling out a wide welcome mat to new ideas pouring out of Waterloo Region’s technology community.
Best known for making ever-more powerful computer chips, Intel announced Tuesday it plans to keep weekly office hours at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener. Technology developers who stop by may come away with something unexpected -- a glimpse into the future of Intel devices.
“You get to see hardware that’s years away at times,’’ Stefanus Du Toit, software development manager at Intel (Waterloo), said at a news conference.
The Intel partnership serves as an example of what Communitech seeks by bringing together different interests in the technology community, Communitech’s Kevin Tuer said in an interview.
“If you don’t have everybody around the table, it’s like trying to play euchre when it’s a four-person game,” said Tuer, vice-president of digital media. “You may muddle through, but in the end you are not going to get the product you could get if you brought everybody around the table.”
“Our model has always been, let’s bring them together, but then let’s do the continuum, so that when early-stage companies graduate from our programs here, they have something else go to. They don’t come to a cliff, they come to the next staircase.’’
The day and hours of the Intel office, known as the Intel Developer Zone, will be settled soon.
“Fundamentally, our strategy is, whatever software you’re running, we want it to run best on Intel,” Graham Palmer, Canada country manager for Intel, said after the announcement. “We want to provide that kind of support to the developer community, so that whatever they’re developing runs best on Intel.”
As smart phones and tablets increasingly become the primary means by which people connect with the internet, Intel has plans for mobile devices of its own. The company wants to find innovators who will help build on its success with tools that enhance the user experience, such as touch screens.
“It’s about what’s the platform three or four years from now, and what sort of innovation will we have then,” Palmer said. “We’re equipping developers (with insight) into what we’re developing so they can then innovate on top of that.”
Intel already has a place in the local tech community. It acquired RapidMind in 2009. The Waterloo office employs more than 20.
“This is really the focal point for technology companies in town,’’ Du Toit said of Communitech. “When we started RapidMind . . .Communitech existed, but not like this. There was no place you could go where you would be guaranteed to run into people who were active in the tech community.”