Intel creates world's first Wireless Technology Surfboard

Intel, the world's largest chip manufacturer, has created the world's first ever surfboard with built-in wireless laptop. The surfboard will allow surfers to check their emails, surf the web, and even record footage of themselves catching the best waves. The tablet laptop based on Intel® Centrino(tm) mobile technology allows a wireless Internet connection from the surfboard to a 'hotspot' on the beach.

The Intel Wireless Technology Surfboard has been developed to accompany the 2004 Intel GoldCoast Oceanfest, the North Devon free sports and music festival held June 18th - 20th, sponsored this year by Intel.

The board will be launched and surfed for the first time at the festival, by international pro surfer Duncan Scott, an 'Intel Ambassador' on the world surf circuit. Duncan has been using Intel Centrino mobile technology all over the world on the pro surfing circuit - keeping track of tides, keeping in touch with sponsors, family and friends while he travels around the globe. Duncan has also given advice on the creation of the Intel Wireless Technology Surfboard as it has taken shape.

Duncan Scott said: 'As a professional surfer, explorer, writer, film producer and world traveller, being able to communicate quickly and effectively is critical to my success. Following the whims of the planet's ever-changing oceans for ten months of the year requires constant access to the latest information, and the ability to make last-second arrangements, even while I'm travelling to the swell. With a hotspot and a laptop using Intel Centrino mobile technology I can take my entire "office" with me wherever I go, and be ready to leave at the drop of a hat whenever an internet swell report looks good - whether it's West Africa, the Philippines or New Caledonia. And, in the near future, via wireless real-time streaming, it could be possible that observers will, for the first time, actually be able to 'ride' a wave with the best surfers in the world!'

The Intel Wireless Technology Surfboard uses Intel Centrino mobile technology to allow surfers to connect to the internet whether they're out in the swell, relaxing on the beach, or putting their feet up at their favourite beach bar, as long as there's a hotspot within range. A hotspot has been enabled at Croyde beach, North Devon, for the Intel Goldcoast Oceanfest, allowing festival-goers to connect to the internet wirelessly from the beach and making sure the Intel Wireless Technology Surfboard comes into its own as this summer's must have surfing accessory. The one-of-a-kind board also comes complete with a built-in solar charging kit, to allow the laptop to be recharged by the sun while you're on the beach, enabling extended battery life for longer days out.

The board has been developed by Intel with help from renowned North Devon board shaper Jools Matthews of Gulfstream surfboards. Over the past fifteen years Jools has shaped over 15,000 surfboards, so when Intel decided to mount this ambitious project he was the first person to turn to, making sure the technology didn't interfere with the ride and feel of the board.

Jools Matthews said: 'It was a great challenge to fit the technology into the board and ensure it remains watertight. We worked really hard to incorporate the weight of the laptop without affecting how this board performs - and I'm confident that it will still have all the ride quality that has made Gulfstream boards famous.'

The board was the brainchild of Intel's marketing team, who also devised the concept of the wireless beach for the Oceanfest event. Tim Hatch, Intel's Consumer Marketing Manager said: 'The whole idea of getting behind this festival was to push our technology to the limits. Intel Centrino mobile technology allows people to work and play much more freely - whether you're accessing a hotspot at the beach, out on your surfboard, or from a café or bar. It's all about giving people the freedom to get online when and where they want - and this technology demonstrates that with a bit of imagination you can do just that.'