During the the heyday of the PC in the 1990’s, Intel’s brand was immediately recognizable thanks to the omnipresence of the Intel Inside logo on TV commercials and print. Back then, everyone wanted a Pentium processor, because “Pentium” was synonymous with “awesome.”
For hardcore PC fans, Intel’s Core brand still holds a similar mystique. For many people, however, Intel is slowly transforming into just another chip brand, threatened to be lost in a sea of Snapdragon, Tegra, and Fusion processors.
So Intel’s taking the crucial mindshare battle to you, with plans to open several pop-up holiday stores at locations across the U.S. The first store is scheduled to open its doors in New York City’s NoLita neighborhood on November 23.
Intel hasn’t specified what kind of products will be on display and what, if anything, the stores will be selling. Based on a company promotional video, however, it appears these Intel Experience Stores will mostly be showrooms for Ultrabooks, tablets, and other devices packed with Intel chips.
Perhaps the company will also show off devices that play into Intel’s perceptual computing concept: a future where we interact with PCs and other devices mostly with hand gestures, voice commands, and facial tracking.
During the Intel Developer Forum in September, Intel showed off a laptop with perceptual computing capability. The device’s built-in camera could interpret gestures and voice commands. Think Kinect in an Ultrabook. Devices packing cutting-edge technology like that seems to be a good candidate for showrooms.
As for actually making purchases, the promotional video says anyone who wants to buy something will be directed to make an online purchase inside the store.
To lure folks into Intel Experience shops, the outlets will be offering free coffee, free movie Fridays, and lectures from local speakers. Talks will include presentations from local tech inventors who will present their ideas as part of Intel’s Tech Disruptors Program. The stores will also accept old devices for recycling.
If free coffee, local events, and gadget recycling aren’t enough to get you inside the stores, Intel also plans to offer loaner devices to people who wants to “test drive” select products at home, though that program will no doubt be a limited affair.
Intel Experience Stores are scheduled to shut down on January 25, 2014, Intel told Laptop Magazine.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.