Intel RealSense to make interacting with computers more human

David Ludlow
6 Jan 2014
Intel RealSense

3D cameras to bring gesture and voice control to Intel RealSense computers

Intel used its CES 2014 to layout its vision for how we'll interact with computers in the future, ditching keyboards for more human ways of interacting. Based around a 3D camera built into a computer, Intel calls the technology RealSense.

After Intel's Kirk Skaugen said at last September's IDF that computers would ship with a 3D camera, today's announcement finally explains why and how the camera would be used.

RealSense-equipped computers will be fitted with a camera that can sense the environment around them using true stereoscopic 1080p video. The obvious use for this is dedicated gesture control, which Intel's general manager of perceptual computing, Mooly Eden, demonstrated. He showed how Windows 8 can be controlled easily with a hand alone.

More than this, as the camera can sense depth, the fine degree of control means that interfaces can be more complicated and used for a variety of different purposes, such as games.

Another demonstration showed how a person can be detected in 3D, and then have their background replaced in a Skype chat. This is something that previously would have required a green screen. While not many people are necessarily going to want to do this task exactly, it shows how powerful the camera and RealSense are.

Intel also explained how the camera could scan an object in 3D, with the object being 'sent' digitally to someone's 3D printer. It's something that the company is taking seriously, with its collaboration with 3D Systems designed to bring 3D printing to the masses. The aim for the collaboration is to change the question from, "should I get a 3D printer?", to, "which room should my 3D printer be in?".

Human interaction is more than just gesture and voice recognition is another big part of the RealSense. An Intel demo showed how a Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking, being used to bring up Family Guy videos. Well, on the second attempt, at least.

RealSense is set to make an appearance on computers from Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo and NEC in the second half of 2014.

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