The world of embedded systems is going to get a whole lot more visually-oriented.
For example, Advanced Micro Devices today unveiled the G-Series of accelerated processing units (APUs), which adds graphics functionality into an embedded processor that can be deployed almost anywhere. In fact, Microsoft uses AMD processors in its Surface systems, which the company plans to roll out in kiosks in addition to the table format the company already supports.
According to Cameron Swen, senior product marketing manager for AMD's embedded solutions division, the world of embedded systems is about to become more visual because people want to interact with these systems, whether they are deployed on a factory floor or your living room. That means these systems will increasingly need to support touchscreen interfaces that allow customers to manipulate graphical images.
For example, the kiosk of the future might not only provide a visual layout of a store. It could also allow customers to see what is happening in that store in real time and whether the store actually has an item in inventory. To discover that information all the shopper might have to do is flip through images on the screen.
As the wealth of opportunities for leveraging IT outside the office continues to explode thanks in part to the rise of the "Internet of Things," the fundamental technologies used in these systems are rapidly advancing. This means that it's becoming cost effective to deploy all kinds of systems that give users a rich computing experience in places most people might not have thought possible.
So don't be too surprised one day to see an entire wall become a computer screen running 3D applications. The technology needed to make that happen is closer than you might think.