INTEL HAS VERY big plans for RealSense, the technology meant to enable our gadgets to learn and understand us, in order to better do the things we want. And the best way to achieve that? Make them mimic humans.
Today at Intel’s Developer Conference, CEO Brian Krzanich explained the company’s advances with RealSense, calling it the “sensification of compute.” “We want our devices to behave more like humans,” Krzanich said. “We want them to listen to us.” To do that, Intel is increasing platform compatibility to include ROS, Linux, Unity, XSplit, Structure SDK, OSVR, and Google’s Project Tango.
In one the most interesting.developments, Intel and Google are combining Project Tango (Google’s 3D mapping project) and RealSense into an Android SDK. During this morning’s conference they showed off a RealSense smartphone running Google’s software. The phone was able to 3D-scan a room simply with a sweep of its camera, an application that should be useful for advancing indoor mapping technology or scanning everyday home items in 3D. Giving a phone the ability to better measure depth and render objects is a huge undertaking, but an important one as developers continue to experiment with smartphone mapping capabilities. “3D mapping is going to absolutely take off … this to me is a no-brainer,” says President and Principal Analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy Patrick Moorhead. “What takes a little more thought is scanning objects to print it out on a 3D printer.” He says while type of application might not be mainstream for a couple more years (2017), it will gain steam with creatives.
Developers using RealSense also announced a handful of projects and advancements. The most interesting plays into two of the most exciting fields experimenting with the Internet of Things: gaming and artificial intelligence. Razer has created a tiny USB-powered camera meant to sit on top of desktops or VR headsets that’s supposed to better track gamers’ movements and incorporate that feedback into the gaming experience. It’s slated to be available in early 2016. And Savioke—the creator of that adorable robot butler we’re all a little terrified of—will be adding RealSense to its virtual hotel concierge next year. It will help the bot do things like… well, for one, not run into people or walls.
RealSense’s impact goes much further than simply what we’re now seeing in consumer-facing devices, though—and analysts believe Intel should be doing whatever it can to cement this platform. “RealSense not only has the capability to dramatically expand device use cases, but also has the ability to drive processing requirements,” Moorhead says. “This is vitally important given many apps moving to the cloud. Intel should be spending hundreds of millions if not billions to make this happen. This is what it takes to make some stick in an ecosystem.”
Intel also showed off how RealSense can let you use a vending machine without touching it, for all the germaphobes out there, and the Memomi Memory Mirror, a high-tech mirror that helps you virtually try on clothes. Don’t get too excited—the mirrors are only hitting Neiman Marcus stores at the moment.