In a bid to eventually sell more chips, Intel plans to announce Monday that it has set up four new offices around the world that are staffed with anthropologists and engineers to help design computers with features for emerging markets. Traveling from dusty rural villages in India to busy Internet cafés in Brazil, these Intel employees will collect data from weather to the content needs of people in regions where computers are not yet popular.
The company began sending ethnographers to study how people interact with technologies. One anthropologist spent a year living in rural China. With the creation of its new business unit and four development centers, Intel has set up permanent and locally hired staff to do ethnographic studies and engineering. The efforts appear to be paying off. >> continue