F E A T U R E S    Issue 2.07 - July 1996

Fill My Bandwidth Baby

By Russ Mitchell

Avram Miller describes the personality of his engineering-trained colleagues at Intel Corp. as "sequential linear concrete". A jazz pianist trained in music theory, the 51-year-old Miller fits a more improvisational profile. As corporate vice president for business development, he's sounding out new ways to supercharge demand for personal computers, nearly 80% of which are powered by Intel microprocessors. His main theme is new media. He's spent the last few years pushing the development of cable modems to speed Web download times. Now, with cable modems in market-test stage, he's investing Intel's money, technology and expertise in new-media start-ups. By late summer, Intel and Creative Artists Agency, the Hollywood talent kingpin, plan to open a multimedia demonstration lab in Los Angeles. The idea is to hasten the arrival of rich programming on the Web - and, not incidentally, to sell more chips.


What's the coolest project you've got going ?

The thing we're doing that's furthest out there is "Willisville", a virtual community, with Allee Willis (the cyberrenaissance woman who wrote the theme song for cult American television show Friends) and Prudence Fenton (an animator from Pee-wee's Playhouse).

What sets them apart is their understanding of character development and their understanding of how people can affect the behaviour of characters. We're working with OnLive! Technologies, too. It's an amazing experience to meet people through their avatars in the 3D world. It becomes very real to you.

And it sucks up a lot of processing power.

And it does suck up a lot of processing power.

Russ Mitchell (russ@wired.com) is managing editor at Wired US.