3D webcams will help PCs read human emotions, Intel says

Intel's 3D webcams will reach laptops in the second half of this year

Intel wants to bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds with the help of 3D webcams, which the company hopes will replace the mundane 2D cameras in laptops and tablets by the second half of this year.

The new 3D cameras will be able to go deeper inside images and track depth, similar to how human eyes do, said Mooly Eden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Perceptual Computing Group, during a press conference at the International CES show in Las Vegas on Monday.

Eden showed laptops from Lenovo and Asustek and a hybrid from Dell with the 3D camera. Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Fujitsu will also come out with PCs with 3D cameras, Eden said. The laptops will be released in the second half of this year, an Intel spokeswoman said in an email message. The camera is part of a new family of products from Intel called RealSense.

The depth-sensing capabilities of the 3D cameras will help a computer understand human moods better, and also improve gaming by recognizing gestures, Eden said. As an example, the cameras can recognize lips and determine whether a person is happy.

Videoconferencing could also become more enjoyable with the 3D cameras, Eden said. The camera will be able to recognize faces and bodies, extract the images, and superimpose them in other backgrounds, as videomakers do with green screens. Intel has partnered with Microsoft to bring those capabilities to Skype video-calling software.

Another on-stage example focused on how the 3D cameras could recognize a children's reading habits and make the experience more enjoyable. Through cameras and voice feedback, a computer will be able to understand a child's interactivity levels with books and augment the experience by starting related games. Intel has tied up with children's book publisher Scholastic to develop interactive features using the 3D cameras for series including Clifford the Big Red Dog and I Spy.

The camera is able to identify the dimensions and characteristics of an object by scanning the contours and shapes of items in view. It can sense the distance, size, color and other characteristics of items through infrared and color sensors built into the cameras.

"The real trick is to do it real time," Eden said, adding that more processing power is needed in computing devices for those capabilities.

The 3D camera, combined with voice, touch and gesture recognition, will make human interaction with computers more natural and intuitive, Eden said.

"We want to communicate with the device the same way we communicate with each other," Eden said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Supporting Association

The marketing over the past 2 years of the Vodafone brand has been confused. We have seen some of the worst advertising in the brands his...

Noel

Vodafone on the hunt for new CMO

Read more

This is an extremely insightful article for sure: a perfect case study into the correct way to choose and implement a CRM system so that ...

Aaron Williams

How marketing automation, CRM upgrade is paying engagement dividends for ResMed

Read more

Mr. Rudy has found the right direction to marketing Catch of the Day and paying attention to customer comments and complaints. The simpl...

Desiree Segal

Catch of the Day retailer hooks fresh customer insight with NPS

Read more

True. Australian Marketing, Advertising, News, PR and Sales Fails Big Time due to using old techniques and not adapting to ICT - can be r...

Joe

Marketing must take charge of innovation, says TBWA chairman

Read more

Step 1) Employ your own workforce. Step 2) Show the public network being built. Step 3) Let the public advertise your brand in return f...

Jason

NBN Co creates head of social strategy role

Read more

Sign in