Intel RealSense Technology, is a suite of depth and tracking technologies designed to give machines and devices depth perceptions capabilities that will enable them to “see” and understand the world. There are many uses for these computer vision capabilities including autonomous drones, robots, AR/VR, smart home devices amongst many others broad market products. RealSense technology is made of Vision Processors, Depth and Tracking Modules, and Depth Cameras, supported by an open source, cross-platform SDK called librealsense that simplifies supporting cameras for third party software developers, system integrators, ODMs and OEMs.
As of January 2018, new Intel RealSense D400 Product Family was launched with the Intel RealSense Vision Processor D4, Intel RealSense Depth Module D400 Series, and 2 ready to use depth cameras: Intel RealSense Depth Cameras D435 and D415.
Previous generations of Intel RealSense depth cameras (F200, R200 and SR300) were implemented in multiple laptop and tablet computers by Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Acer. . Additionally, Razer and Creative offered consumer ready standalone webcams with the Intel RealSense camera built into the design. : Razer Stargazer and the Creative BlasterX Senz3D.
Intel RealSense Group supports multiple depth and tracking technologies: Coded Light Depth, Stereo Depth and Positional Tracking. 
The Intel RealSense Vision Processor D4 series are vision processors based on 28 nanometer (nm) process technology to compute real-time stereo depth data. It features a new and advanced stereo depth algorithm that enables more accurate and longer range depth perception than Intel’s previous generation. There are two products in this family: RealSense Vision processor D4 and RealSense Vision Processor D4m.
|D4 Vision Processor||D4M Vision Processor|
|Form Factor||ASIC BGA||ASIC BGA|
|Package Size||6.4mm x 6.4mm x 1mm||4.7mm x 3.8mm x 0.55mm|
|Depth Max Throughput||36.6 MP/sec (848×480@90fps)|
|Depth Stream Output Resolution||Up to 1280×720||Up to 720×720|
|Depth Stream Output Frame Rate||Up to 90fps|
|RGB Sensor Max Resolution & Max Frame Rate||1920×1080, Up to 60fps||720×720, Up to 30 fps|
|IR Projector Controls||Yes||Yes|
|Hose Interface||USB 3.0||2x MIPI|
|Multi Camera Support||Yes, Upto 5||Up to 30fps|
|I/O||5x MIPI CSI-2, 5x I2C, 1x SPI, GPIO, Timer||2x MIPI 1x I2C, 1x SPI, GPIO, Timer|
The Intel RealSense Depth Module D400 Series includes 5 calibrated imaging sub-system that features active or passive IR stereo depth technology, rolling or global shutter image sensor technology, wide or standard FOV, and in some offerings an RGB sensor. When paired with a RealSense™ Vision Processor D4, these modules can output depth data over USB 3.0 and is designed for easy integration to bring 3D into devices and machines.
|Depth technology||Passive IR Stereo||Active IR Stereo||Active IR Stereo||Passive IR Stereo||Active IR Stereo|
|Image Sensor technology||Rolling Shutter||Rolling Shutter||Rolling Shutter||Global Shutter||Global Shutter|
|Depth FOV (HxV for HD 16:9)||63.4degx 40.4deg||63.4degx 40.4deg||63.4degx 40.4deg||85.2degx 58deg||85.2degx 58deg|
|RGB Frame Rate and Resolution||-||-||Up to 60FPS||-||-|
|Depth Resolution||Upto 1280x720||Upto 1280x720||Upto 1280x720||Upto 1280x720||Upto 1280x720|
|Depth Frame Rate||Up to 90fps||Up to 90fps||Up to 90fps||Up to 90fps||Up to 90fps|
Intel launched 2 new depth cameras in January 2018: D415 and D435. Both cameras feature the RealSense Vision processor D4 and camera sensors. They are supported by the cross-platform and open source Intel RealSense SDK 2.0 or librealsense on GitHub.
The Intel RealSense Depth Camera D415 includes the Intel RealSense Vision Processor D4 featuring high depth resolution - up to 1280x720 at 30 frames per second (fps), long-range capabilities, rolling shutter technology and a narrow field of view ideal for precise measurements. It is designed for easy setup with USB 3.0 and is in a sleek form factor for portability. With the rolling image shutter and narrow field of view, the Intel RealSense Depth Camera D415 offers high-depth resolution when the object size is small and more precise measurements are required. The D415 Camera is for sale now at several distributors.
Product Brief Available here.
The Intel RealSense Depth Camera D435 is ideal for capturing stereo depth in a variety of applications that help perceive the world in 3D. The camera includes the Intel RealSense Vision Processor D4 featuring high depth resolution - up to 1280x720 at 30 frames per second (fps), long-range capabilities, global shutter technology and a wide field of view. With the global image shutter and wide field of view (91.2° x 65.5° x 100.6°), the Intel RealSense Depth Camera D435 offers accurate depth perception when the object is moving or the device is in motion, and it covers more field of view, minimising blind spots. It is designed for easy setup with USB 3.0 and is in a sleek form factor for portability. The D435 Camera is for sale now at several distributors.
|Depth Technology||Active infared (IR) stereo||Active IR stereo|
|Image Sensor Technology||Rolling shutter, 1.4umx1.4um pixel size||Global Shutter, 3um X 3um pixel size|
|Components Included||Realsense Vision Processor D4
Realsense Module D410
|Realsense Vision Processor D4
Realsense Module D430
|Depth Field of View||63.4deg x 40.4deg (+/-3deg)||85.2deg x 58deg (+/-3deg)|
|Depth Stream Output Resolution||Upto 1280x720||Upto 1280x720|
|Depth Stream Output Frame Rate||Upto 90fps||Upto 90fps|
|Minimum Depth Distance (MinZ)||0.16m||0.11m|
Varies depending on calibration, scene, lighting condition
Varies depending on calibration, scene, lighting condition
|RGB Sensor Resolution & Frame Rate||1920x1080 at 30fps||1920x1080 at 30fps|
|RGB Sensor FOV||69.4deg x 42.5deg (+/- 3deg)||69.4deg x 42.5deg (+/- 3deg)|
|Camera Dimension||99mm X 20mm X 23mm||90mm x 25mm x 25 mm|
|Connectors||USB 3.0 Type-C||USB 3.0 Type-C|
|Mounting Mechanism||One 1/4 -20 UNC thread mounting point
Two M3 thread mounting points
|One 1/4 -20 UNC thread mounting point
Two M3 thread mounting points
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
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.
Intel launched their open source cross platform software developer kit with the Intel RealSense depth cameras D435 and D415. It is available on GitHub.
The SDK (librealsense) allows depth and color streaming, and provides intrinsic and extrinsic calibration information. The library also offers synthetic streams (pointcloud, depth aligned to color and vise-versa), and a built-in support for record and playback of streaming sessions.
Key Features of the SDK (librealsense):
|Intel® RealSense™ Viewer||With this application, you can quickly access your Intel® RealSense™ Depth Camera to view the depth stream, visualize point clouds, record and playback streams, configure your camera settings, modify advanced controls, enable depth visualization and post processing and much more.|
|Depth Quality Tool||This application allows you to test the camera’s depth quality, including: standard deviation from plane fit, normalized RMS – the subpixel accuracy, distance accuracy and fill rate. You should be able to easily get and interpret several of the depth quality metrics and record and save the data for offline analysis.|
|Other Debug Tools||Device enumeration, FW logger, etc as can be seen at the tools directory|
|Code Samples to Start Prototyping Quickly||These simple examples demonstrate how to easily use the SDK to include code snippets that access the camera into your applications. Check some of the C++ examples including capture, pointcloud and more and basic C examples|
|Wrappers||Python, .NET, Node.js API, as well as integration with the following 3rd-party technologies: ROS, LabVIEW, OpenCV, PCL, Unity, and more to come, including Matlab and OpenNI.|
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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