One of our most popular demos at Lenovo Tech World – Intel CEO Brian Krzanich making a figurine of our CEO using Intel® RealSense™ technology.  But RealSense is not just a novelty – it has endless real-world practical applications.    

We already have products equipped with RealSense cameras. These cameras let our users scan and print in 3D, manipulate photos and video-chat in some compelling ways and immersed themselves in richly animated video games. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a good introduction to the technology.

Simplified, an Intel RealSense camera combines a conventional 2D camera with an infra-red camera and laser projector for depth perception. This lets the camera accurately measure the distance between objects in the frame so you get the 3D functionality like scanning and printing that we demo’d at Tech World.   

The depth perception lets the camera understand gestures in a more natural way. This makes it a lot easier to do and more accurate than before. There’s been a lot of attention in the gaming industry about 3D cameras, and it’s gamers who have really pioneered gesture control as a natural extension of their gaming consoles. Today with software developed by a Swiss company called Faceshift you can create and operate your own avatars – opening up endless possibilities for new game play. Beyond gaming, researchers are investigating using this technology to help individuals on the autism spectrum conquer social barriers and achieve greater independence.

But what’s next could really help to make 3D cameras more mainstream. RealSense reads your face and can even sense your mood based on your facial expression. This means a strong augmentation to existing facial recognition is soon upon us -  whether it’s for your device, your car or your home it will not only know who you are, but whether it should adjust to your current mood.

Usage scenarios for technology breakthroughs like RealSense will only multiply as the market expands. From my perspective, we need the killer application that will make RealSense a must have for your PC, tablet, smartphone or wearable. So our engineers and developers are working on that now. That said, we know the inventor may be anyone in the world who has the imagination to come up with an app that changes people’s lives. We’re doing our best to popularize this technology to open those opportunities.