David Papp Blog

Depth-sensing cameras using Intel RealSense technology

Intel is has been rolling out a new technology called RealSense. They are taking perceptual computing to the next level by interpreting sensory inputs and movement for different applications. They achieve this using their 3D depth-sensing cameras in RealSense enabled devices. This exciting new technology has been Intel’s big highlight at CES rather than focusing on chip advancements.

You can scan real-world objects and create digital 3D versions of it for different purposes such as measuring the width of a couch or the distance between 2 trees.

Intel RealSense Measuring Couch

How does it work?

These depth-sensing RealSense 3D cameras really have 3 different lenses: your typical 2D camera for taking normal videos and photos, and an infrared laser projector along with an infrared camera. Infrared is invisible to human eyes and can be used to measure distances between objects and therefore track motion as well.

How can I use it?

Imagine Minority Report or better yet Tony Stark’s (Iron Man) technology for natural user interfaces. Manipulating computers using hand gestures, facial recognition, and voice commands.

For those gamers out there looking forward to Oculus Rift VR glasses, RealSense will be able to add hand gesture recognition or how about facial recognition for immersing yourself in your World of Warcraft characters. For video bloggers, it helps make green screens a thing of the past by allowing you to easily swap out different backgrounds behind you.

RealSense helps make big strides in breaking the chains of using traditional keyboards, mice, and controllers by delivering new immersive experiences and integrating augmented reality.

Show me more

Intel has engaged Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory) to help promote their RealSense technology. He appears in a number of short commercials and video clips. They help demonstrate key features of what you can achieve using RealSense. There is also an entire YouTube channel devoted to RealSense.

Where can I get it?

There are a number of tablets and PCs already shipping with this technology including big brands such as Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo. An example would be the super-thin Dell Venue 8 7000 Series Android Tablet (codenamed Blackburn) which is available now for around $400 and includes the depth-sensing technology.

I’m required to disclose a relationship between myself and Intel Canada.


11 thoughts on “Depth-sensing cameras using Intel RealSense technology”

  1. I really like the idea of being able to change the focal point in a photo after you have taken it. I can see that finding its way into digital cameras (not just tablets, smartphones and other such devices) in the future. The hand gestures will be great to use as well. No more mouse pointers or even mice and issues with RSI. That would open up a whole world of uses, though I know there are such devices currently on the market, but it can only improve their viability and functionality.
    It sounds like a great step forward.

  2. This type of technology would be a real help when choosing furniture or appliances. You’d be able to get all the measurements just by taking a photo – it would make things so much easier.

    It’s fairly affordable too – I would have expected a tablet with these capabilities to cost a bit more than $400.

    • Yeah, I can imagine this being so useful for that!!! The country where I’m heading to, they often go to the home expos and start manually measuring everything, lol!! Because there is no such a thing as home delivery, am talking about the Netherlands. So yeah, measurements are important. This could save a lot people (in that country in particular) a lot time!!!!

    • Intel’s making a good job indeed on advancing with their technology. We live in a world full of it, and Intel’s just making it more easy for all of us. I’ve watched all of their YouTube videos and I’m quite impressed of what they’ve done! 400$ is actually affordable if you’re looking to intensively use RealSense.

  3. This has amazing applications in many different fields. Instead of having to measure distances, technology like this can be used instead. This would allow for a lot of jobs to become much easier. I cannot wait to see this hardware become more mainstream and enter the main phone market.

  4. This is exciting news! It’s amazing how technology is changing and becoming more and more amazing that has ever been! This new technology seems to be quite flexible, so I can imagine realsense being used in so many amazing things! I’m sure this is just the start! I wonder how much more advanced it will be in a couple of years!

  5. Impressive that it’s already being shipped as part of some current devices. It’s a very cool concept altogether and deserves the attention because of its obviously numerous possibilities in implementation.

  6. I think that this is very cool and will make a lot of money for Intel. 3D images are amazing and makes things stand out more. Intel hit a home run with this one for sure. Cant wait to see what they come out with next.

  7. I’ve seen the video of where a person from Intel introduces RealSense to the audience at CES2015. He said that they are producing a TV where they can use RealSense. Meaning that they’ll have hand recognition and what not which will be incorporated within a TV to provide convenience and laziness for the person using it.

  8. I’m looking forward to this becoming commonplacer. It will make VR experience a lot better provided that it will work live for motion sensing. I tried the Oculus Rift about half a year ago and am looking forward to it. It takes a really fast rig to run it though, and I bet the motion sensing won’t help. I hope those Iron Man-ish interfaces will become commonplace too, those are the coolest!

  9. That’s really nice since it’s progressing and the camera is only getting better and better. I think they progress when it comes to algorithms and creating relevant calculations that are intelligently designed to make it so unique.

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