Hewlett-Packard Laboratories is developing a computer display within a pair of normal spectacles, its head of research revealed. Other items on the Labs' agenda include high bandwidth fibres, advanced network management software and more powerful, cheaper and more mobile hardware.
Joel Birnbaum, senior vice president at HP Labs, hinted that HP will soon test more powerful processors, which will be used in future server models. HP also wants to make simple hardware boxes dedicated to one job, using CPUs that cannot be reprogrammed, and is working on ways of using the lenses of a normal pair of glasses as a display to plug into mobile hardware.
He said the company has recognised a series of computing requirements and hopes to solve them with ground-breaking technology. "What we are working on today is a response to user problems," he said. Birnbaum added that HP will meet users? needs for more bandwidth at lower cost, more robust and secure networks, lower costs of computer ownership, more powerful and cheaper servers and simpler mobile clients.
To address bandwidth problems, Birnbaum?s team is attempting to build a laser that emits light perpendicular to surfaces rather than parallel to them. "There is also a 60GHz signal chip being developed for a few dollars and the US authorities are reducing use around the 60GHz bandwidth to prepare for this," Birnbaum said.
HP Labs also hopes to make full wavelength fibre, which allows multiple frequencies and will increase bandwidth by a factor of at least 100. "It will be similar to having a radio dial to tune the frequency on your computer," Birnbaum said. HP Labs in Bristol is working on making networks more robust and easier to manage, with software that can monitor and analyse millions of nodes from one PC.
HP also hopes to cut ownership costs by allowing ?utility computing?, a concept where users only buy computing functions they need. Birnbaum said it is similar to buying electricity, where consumers are not involved with the generating company. "Users will be able to pay for computing by usage, regardless of the server used. We have designed a prototype that configures hardware for user needs with a thin client layer," he said.
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