Intel RealSense, formerly known as Intel Perceptual Computing, is a platform for implementing gesture-based human-computer interaction techniques. It consists of series of consumer grade 3D cameras together with an easy to use machine perception library that simplifies supporting the cameras for third-party software developers.
As of March 2015, multiple laptop and tablet computer manufactures offer one or more devices with Intel RealSense camera built in. These are Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer. Also, a standalone webcam from Razer is among the first to offer the Intel RealSense camera built into the design. Consumer-ready versions of the RealSense camera are the Razer Stargazer and the Creative BlasterX Senz3D.
An Intel RealSense camera contains the following four components: a conventional camera, an infrared laser projector, an infrared camera, and a microphone array. The infrared projector projects a grid onto the scene (in infrared light which is invisible to human eye) and the infrared camera records it to compute depth information. The microphone array allows localizing sound sources in space and performing background noise cancellation.
Three camera models were announced, with distinct specifications and intended use.
This is a stand-alone camera that can be attached to a desktop or laptop computer. It is intended to be used for natural gesture-based interaction, face recognition, immersive, video conferencing and collaboration, gaming and learning and 3D scanning.
There is a version of this camera to be embedded into laptop computers.
Snapshot is a camera intended to be built into tablet computers and possibly smartphones. Its intended uses include taking photographs and performing after the fact refocusing, distance measurements, and applying motion photo filters.
The refocus feature differs from a plenoptic camera in that RealSense Snapshot takes pictures with large depth of field so that initially the whole picture is in focus and then in software it selectively blurs parts of the image depending on their distance.
Rear-mounted camera for Microsoft Surface or a similar tablet, like the HP Spectre X2. This camera is intended for augmented reality applications, content creation, and object scanning. Its depth accuracy is on the order of millimeters and its range is up to 6.0 meters. This makes it the more accurate and longer range of the Intel RealSense 3D cameras. Also unlike the F200 and SR300, the R200 is a stereo camera and is able to obtain accurate depth outdoors as well as indoors.
The SR300 camera is the next generation of the Front F200 camera. It improves in various respects over its predecessor, notably with
The Front SR300 camera can be bought from Intel for approximately $130 USD.
To address the lack of applications built on the RealSense platform and to promote the platform among software developers, in 2014 Intel organized the Intel RealSense App Challenge. The winners were awarded large sums of money.
In an early preview article, PC World's Mark Hachman concluded that RealSense is an enabling technology that will be largely defined by the software that will take advantage of its features. He noted that as of the time the article was written, the technology was new and there was no such software.
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