Intel's Curie module for wearables can fit on a coat button

Can you see it?

Intel one-upped itself at CES 2015, announcing a new wearable module that can fit on devices no bigger than a coat button.

Called Curie, the module shown onstage during the company's keynote was only a prototype, but the potential feels very real. CEO Brian Krzanich provided a visual comparison between Edison, announced at last year's CES, and Curie. The difference was remarkable.

"We knew we could do better," Krzanich said of the Edison to Curie evolution. "We knew we could make computing and compute smaller."

Curie is based on Intel's Quark SoC, and Krzanich said another dedicated processor can quickly and precisely identify different sporting activities. Wearing Curie during the keynote, Krzanich was able to record how many steps he took onstage.

Krzanich steps

A bit of a work out

Bags, pendants and jacket buttons could all house Curie, Krzanich mused.

"It changes the game of wearables," he said.

Curie arrives in the second half of the year, and Intel already lined up eyewear company Oakley to make "an intelligent product" aimed at athletes. Other brands, like Basis Peak, the Fossil Group and SMS Audio are part of Intel's Curie push.

Drones and 3D printing

Curie wasn't the only thing Intel had to show.

Krzanich and a host of guests touched on a host of technologies, including the company's RealSense cameras and applications based around the technology.

The most entertaining demonstration of RealSense's capabilities centered around drones. Equipped with RealSense cameras, the drones could maneuver around obstacles and avoid running into people and closed doors with no one controlling them. It was impressive, if not a little creepy.

Drone ping pong

A drone avoids hitting people on its own

Another demonstration showed a RealSense application in the kitchen; a chef could call up a recipe video on a ThinkPad tablet, pause it and navigate a page on the Food Network with just his voice and hand gestures, no need to smudge the screen with chicken wing sauce.

Krzanich said more RealSense-equipped products from seven Intel partners, including Acer, Asus, Lenovo, HP and Dell, are due this year.

Dion Weisler, executive vice president, printing and personal systems at HP, revealed the company is entering the 3D printing space with its Multi Jet Fusion printer, powered by a Core i7 processor.

Finally, Intel announced it's partnered with Marriott to launch a wireless charging initiative that will eventually reach Hilton, Jaguar Land Rover, Dupont, and the San Francisco airport. The program will launch in Marriott properties in Q2 this year.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.