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

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

How to keep your B2B marketing job for the next 5 years

B2B marketers are in the hot seat. As the customers’ buying journey shifts online, B2B marketers must exert influence and build trust with their prospects in a new way.

Collective Intelligence: The power of smarter, quicker team thinking

When we think about the bottom line in business, the immediate jump is fiscal performance. But if you're serious about future-proofing your business, then you need to be ready to think outside the box of traditional success measures.

Janine Garner

Founder and CEO, LBDGroup and author

Can the data-led creative please stand up?

The data land grab is full steam ahead. Media agencies, brands and tech players are all scrambling over one another to develop data and insights capabilities and to own the space.

The most successful start of any change is the recognition of its need. Australia is by no means the only country struggling with custome...

Denyse Drummond-Dunn

Report: Aussie CMOs strive for customer centricity but hindered by pace of change

Read more

Chris - good list for a staff marketer. But a CMO must become conversant and familiar with strategic corporate finance. This is now a c...

Ed Marsh

How to keep your B2B marketing job for the next 5 years - Marketing leadership - CMO Australia

Read more

Hmm ... another pondering example of VR technology's use for place-teleportation.http://www.virtualrealitytimes...

VirtualReality Times

Virtual reality provides platform to showcase Brisbane winter experiences

Read more

Hi Nadia, I think it will be interesting to see how this space evolves since, as you mentioned, more and more brands will be getting in o...

Lauren Jung

How to engage in influencer marketing: The controversy and the opportunity

Read more

Thanks for the feedback Lauren. The big question I have is whether consumers will continue to inherently trust in the blogger's commentar...

Nadia Cameron

How to engage in influencer marketing: The controversy and the opportunity

Read more

Sign in