Intel’s anthropologists will “live in a gamers home for like weeks at a time”

And the award for the most silicon valley idea I've heard all week goes to...

Intel anthropologist

Intel isn’t afraid of going to great lengths to gather the most accurate, representative facts and figures about gamers and their habits. It will even go as far to sending one of its in-house anthropologists to a gamer’s house for “weeks at a time” to befriend the wild specimen, study its ways, and report its findings back so it can produce devices better suited to players’ needs.

Intel’s actually utilised anthropologists for quite some time to understand its customers better, and one of its senior fellows and Intel Lab directors, Genevieve Bell, is a well-known anthropologist and all-round human expert with a long history with the company in the field of blending technology and real-life human needs – to great success.

Over at Gamescom Intel wanted to reiterate its use of highly-skilled human experts for this very purpose, even in the gaming sphere where it’s in-depth market research helps the company develop CPUs and systems tailored to the role gaming plays in peoples’ lives, how they use this technology, and how they game on a day-to-day basis.

“…not many people understand that Intel has this” Troy Severson, sales director of PC gaming at Intel, says, “but we actually have anthropologists on staff at Intel who go and, across all aspects and segments of the PC world, actually live in users’ homes, actually talk to them about how they use PCs. And so we’ve done this with gamers too, where they’ll actually go and almost like live in a gamer’s home for like weeks at a time to see how gaming influences what they do in their everyday life, how they get passionate about gaming, the role that plays in their life.

When you start to overlay that with some of the other market information out there and market intelligence out there, and then doing some of the quantitative surveys… it starts to paint a fuller picture of who the gamers are, what they want, and what they care about.”

Severson goes on to say that Intel will occasionally share this information with Intel’s partners, including OEMs and game developers, to aid in the development process across games and hardware to better suit gamers’ needs and wants.

And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a anthropology driven project from Intel. Project Athena is its latest drive to produce laptops and small form-factor devices designed with a “human-first” design mentality, with strict rules on how to get the sign off from Intel.

To be branded as such (with the Intel “engineered for mobile performance” sticker), devices must meet stringent rules such as a four-hour battery charge in 30 minutes or less, 9 hours total battery life, Wi-Fi 6, and NVMe storage for speedy system responsiveness. All intended to ensure any Athena laptop is built to suit the actual needs of modern on-the-go users.

And so we want to know: would you let an Intel anthropologist co-inhabit your house for a few weeks if it meant your next gaming laptop was better suited to your needs? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook.