IDF Day 1: Craig Barrett Keynote: "Inspiring Innovation"

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Barrett also touched up economic development when he invited founder, Matt Flannery to the stage. takes a new approach to microfinancing by taking it online. Kiva is a Swahili word meaning unity. Anyone can sign on to Kiva to provide loans to applicants. Kiva provides a loan on an average of every 30 seconds. The average loan is $500. Kiva is a network connecting world economies with the economies of people in need. The biggest challenge to this model is that applicants need to have access to technology. Flannery's advice to the crowd is to take your skills and apply them to something you care about--this is how you can make a difference.


Barrett says much of this connectivity is coming in form of WiMax, which he claims performs significantly above that of current 3G connections. He says that there will be 50 million users connecting via WiMax by the end of this year, and one billion by 2012.


Barrett also talked about how technological innovation can help healthcare. It is difficult to deliver healthcare to many developing countries. There are often not enough doctors, especially in more rural communities. A solution here lies in telemedicine. And he literally means "tele" as in telephone. (Here he also lamented that today doctors in the U.S. are not reimbursed by insurance when they interact with their patients using a 135-year old technology: the telephone.) A radiologist from Columbia joined Barrett on stage. They demonstrated a smart card that has a barcode on it that contains an individual's basic health records. An emergency responder can get essential medical information from an accident victim (Barrett momentarily laid down on the stage, pretending to be a motorcycle accident victim). With the push of a button on a device reading the card, a patient's primary care physician can be notified.


Barrett next launched a video conference with his two primary care physicians in India (via WiMax on the Indian side). They discussed a system in India where anyone can call a national phone number (104, similar to the U.S.'s 911 system) to speak with doctors, paramedics, or psychologists at a contact center who can counsel them over the phone. Barrett says the next step is real-time broadband access to enable remote diagnostics.


Barrett's next topic to tackle was energy. He mentioned how UPS has installed GPS trackers on all of its trucks, which use software to efficiently advise on delivery routes to help save fuel costs. He said that technological innovation can play a big factor in energy distribution and efficiency, such as with solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources. Barrett brought out "the next Michael Phelps of the technology world," third-place finisher, Brian McCarthy, of the Intel Science Talent Search award. McCarthy spoke a bit about his project where he was developing solar cells based on plastics, instead of silicon. His goal is to produce solar cells that are more efficient, cost less to produce, and reduce carbon emissions.

In his summary, Barrett shared a saying with the audience: "A small deed done is better than a great deed planned." He wanted to provide an opportunity to people to do great small deeds. As such, he used his keynote to mention Intel's "Inspire-Empower Challenge." where four $100K awards will be given out at next year's IDF in the areas of "education, healthcare, economic development, and the environment." "The Challenge is designed to inspire developers, individuals, and organizations to innovate and empower them to deliver new ways to apply technology to these issues." The award monies will go towards projects devoted to implementing the winning ideas.
More IDF 2008 Coverage at HotHardware:
IDF Day 1: Pat Gelsinger Keynote: Embedded + Dynamic + Visual
IDF Day 1: David Perlmutter: "Where Will 'On-the-Go' Go?"
IDF Day 2: Anand Chandrasekher: "MIDs: Platform for Innovation"
IDF Day 2: Eric Kim: "We Love TV"
IDF Day 2: Renee James: "Developing for the Future of Computing" 

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