* Intel Capital makes 18 new investments
* Chipmaker backs cloud computing, video start-ups
* Intel acquires Canadian smart-sign company (Adds quotes from head of Intel Capital, byline)
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Chipmaker Intel Corp INTC.O has invested $77 million in start-ups whose focuses include cloud computing and Web-enabled television.
Intel Capital, charged with backing business models that complement its Santa Clara, California parent’s long-term strategy, said it has taken new equity stakes in 18 companies.
“One of the most exciting areas that is emerging is TV being connected to the Internet,” Intel Capital president Arvind Sodhani told reporters.
“We have a number of investments announced today as well as previously done that are bringing the power and the capability of the Internet, combined with TV, which allows you to watch what you want when you want it, as opposed to watching what the cable company or the network operators want you to watch when they want you to watch it,” he said.
One of Intel Capital’s new investments is in Malaysian start-up Select-TV, which sells to hotels web-enabled set-top boxes that use Intel’s Atom processor.
Other investments announced on Tuesday were geared toward social media and mobile devices.
Intel is also investing in, and will manufacture silicon wafers on behalf of Lilliputian Systems, a Wilmington, Massachusetts-based firm that plans to make portable butane-powered fuel cells for recharging smartphones and other portable devices.
Separately, Intel said it bought Canada’s CognoVision, a start-up focused on “smart signage,” an area Intel is pushing as a destination for its Atom processors, which are ubiquitous in netbooks. It did not say what it paid for CognoVision.
CognoVision uses small camera sensors and computers to detect faces and track how people watch ads as they move through a store and can adapt advertising in real-time. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; editing by Andre Grenon)
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