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Kinect-like cameras are coming to your next laptop or tablet

Kinect-like cameras are coming to your next laptop or tablet


Intel's RealSense 3D camera will be integrated into new computers

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intel 3d depth camera realsense 1020
intel 3d depth camera realsense 1020

Intel's been promising that future laptops will integrate 3D cameras that can track your motions much like Microsoft's Kinect, and it appears those plans are building steam. Intel has just announced partnerships with a wide variety of PC manufacturers to build the new Intel RealSense 3D camera into a variety of new notebook, two-in-one, and all-in-one computers later this year, including Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and NEC.

Of course, a fancy new laptop feature doesn't mean much without software to take advantage of the tech, so Intel's also announcing that 3D Systems, Autodesk, DreamWorks, Metaio, Scholastic, and even Microsoft's Skype and Lync video conferencing services will use the technology.

Video chat, augmented reality, education, and 3D printing

According to an Intel press release, the module combines a "best-in-class" depth sensor with a 1080p color camera and can detect individual finger movements and facial features. With Skype and Lync, the company says you'll be able to chat with people removed from their background surroundings, "to present only the caller and not what is actually behind them." With a partnership with 3D Systems, Intel hopes to use the camera for scanning and printing 3D objects, while Scholastic hopes to use it to let children interact with their characters Clifford the Big Red Dog and the I Spy book franchise.

Here's a video we shot last year of an early prototype system in action:

We've heard a lot about this Intel initiative before, and we've seen what such cameras can do, but now it looks like the idea might finally take off when these products launch in the second half of 2014.