Sifting for News at Intel's Annual Research Day

Each year, Intel (INTC) invites the media to an event in Silicon Valley that’s a bit like a high school science fair. Hard news is scarce, but one gleans tidbits about some long-term directions in the computer industry.

At the session held Thursday, bright young people from the chip maker’s research labs positioned themselves around a large room, armed with computers and other gadgets to help explain their projects to anyone who walked up. A big hit for reporters with cameras was a demonstration of a kind of virtual fencing.

Two people standing 15 feet or so from each other could pick up mock light sabers and pretend to fight, while their images were captured separately by two digital video cameras and placed together on one computer screen. The technology is designed to simulate the concept of people who may be in different locations entering a virtual space and interacting with one another.

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