What the heck is the intelligent edge? Check out this animated explanation.

As Build 2018 gets underway, there's one term that keeps coming up over and over again: intelligent edge. It's an idea that can be tough to get your head around, but it's also one that has become increasingly important to Microsoft's strategy going forward. Luckily, Microsoft recently tackled the intelligent edge in the latest video in it Explanimators series. Narrated by Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Kevin Scott, the video does a pretty good job of getting the idea across.

The video builds upon Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' idea of "a computer on every desk," expanding to ubiquitous computing that will dominate the future. The idea is that, as computing expands to more and more devices, you won't even notice what is and isn't a computer.

As the video explains, the "edge" in intelligent edge refers to devices that are close to where they need to be, but are still connected to each other and the cloud. Those can include everything from your car and PC to toys, drones, and lightbulbs. Its "intelligence" comes from devices' ability to use AI to sense what's going on around them, then understand and act based on what's happening.

Essentially, intelligent edge is a catch-all for the intelligent connected devices you interact with every day. And going forward, Microsoft is setting itself up to provide the tools for developers to build applications and experiences for the intelligent edge.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl