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Episode 07

Breaking Ground to Deliver New Form Factors

Jan 02, 2019


In this episode of Open Source Voices, we talk to Varalakshmi “Lakshmi” T R, senior engineering manager at Intel, and Conrad Lo, product manager at Google, about how their teams are charting a path to exciting new form factors in computing devices. They talk about the challenges the joint team experienced along the way, and how they overcame these challenges, on their road to the first Chromebook detachable.

Lakshmi talks about the shift in consumer behavior and the rising demand for new form factors — specifically, detachables. “Detachables are expected to double their unit sales by 2021 when compared with 2016, according to IDC. It is exciting to participate in a new product category like that,” she explains.

Conrad reveals what inspires him about this new category of devices. “As Lakshmi mentioned, it’s a really exciting market for us, and with the launch of the first Chromebook detachable, we’re bringing the speed, simplicity and security of Chrome OS to a versatile and mobile device.”

The two give us a behind-the-scenes look at the joint Google and Intel collaboration that helped bring this first Chromebook detachable to life, and the challenges they encountered. From getting software ready in time for the hardware ready to power on, to needing to reassess overall weight of the device, to co-engineering of the camera, the team fought through adversity to deliver an incredible first to market, breaking ground and gaining great insight along the way.