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Razer is putting Intel's depth-sensing tech into a VR and streaming camera

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Razer is hardly the biggest name in virtual reality, but with the OSVR platform, it's one of the most vocally dedicated to partnerships and cross-compatibility. Today, it went a step further and introduced an actual upcoming product: a Kinect-style 3D camera built for game streaming and virtual reality.

The apparently unnamed device is based on RealSense, Intel's depth-sensing camera technology. You can already find RealSense processing in laptops, and it can be used for, among other things, drone navigation. But Razer's camera is specifically geared at common gaming applications. For people who stream on platforms like Twitch, its sensors can trace around their face and replace the background, like an automatic green screen. This is already a standard feature in RealSense, and there's no shortage of other background replacement options, but RealSense is still relatively uncommon in computers, and it could require less work and be more reliable than DIY setups.

More speculatively, Razer sees this as a step towards VR gaming. The RealSense camera could become an external tracker for VR headsets, scan real-world objects to put them into a game, or track hand motion, among other things. Motion sensing is also an established, if niche, technology — Oculus has acquired several hand-tracking companies, the Kinect is a semi-viable control option, and Leap Motion announced its own faceplate for Razer's OSVR headset development kit. Without knowing more details, the distinguishing factor here is the Razer brand name, the dual focus on video and 3D mapping, and the (quite plausible) possibility that it's part of a larger Razer VR line.

There's no word on pricing or release date beyond "coming soon," and the image above is a concept rendering that could change in the future. Intel and Razer are, however, giving demonstrations at this week's Intel Developer Forum.