Intel creates $100 million fund for perceptual computing

Perceptual computing focuses on next-generation user interfaces such as touch, gesture, voice, emotion sensing, and image recognition. Intel's on board big time.

Dan Farber
Intel hosts a pop-up store in New York to promote its processors. Shara Tibken/CNET

Intel likes to invest in emerging categories of computing that can consume a lot of its processors. The company's latest target is what it calls "perceptual computing," which focuses on next-generation, natural user interfaces such as touch, gesture, voice, emotion sensing, biometrics, and image recognition. Intel's investment arm is allocating $100 million to the Intel Capital Experiences and Perceptual Computing Fund over the next two to three years for startups and companies developing software and apps to take computing beyond the mouse and keyboard.

Intel will also provide recipients of funding with support for business development and technology expertise, Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president, said in a press release.

In addition, Intel has a Perceptual Computing SDK, which includes a library of algorithms for gesture tracking, speech recognition, face analysis, and augmented reality. Separate from the fund, Intel is distributing $1 million in prizes to developers as part of the Intel Perceptual Computing Challenge.

Previously, Intel Capital created a $300 million Ultrabook Fund to kick-start improvements in audio, battery performance, display, and sensor technologies. The company just introduced its fourth-generation Core Haswell chips that are designed to amp up performance and battery life.