The reality of Minority Report-style gestural interfaces has arrived in the consumer market, folks. Intel has just announced that they will be introducing a new lineup of RealSense 3D camera offerings for laptop and tablet designs later this year that will bring “human-like senses to Intel-based devices”. To put it more frankly, the technology (also seen in the Microsoft Kinect) isn’t new…however we’re yet to see the capabilities integrated into other and arguably more useful devices. With the ability to detect finger movements, gestures, and depth, will we soon be tossing around virtual CAD models back and forth in space during Skype meetings? Yep.

RealSense-Equipped Devices Coming in 2014

What is a RealSense 3D Camera? In a nutshell, it is a 3D camera-enabled interface that allows a user to control a digital experience without ever actually touching a physical control point. This means that a user can manipulate data on a screen without laying a single finger on a mouse or a touchscreen…or even create a 3D print-ready scan with built-in hardware:

Among companies expected to collaborate with Intel on the new technology shift including Autodesk, DreamWorks, Skype, and others, 3D Systems is lining up to bring 3D scanning and printing capabilities to mainstream users. Their consumer-level Cubify Sense 3D scanning, editing, and printing platform will be included on Intel devices that feature the RealSense camera and they are currently working on more ways to utilize the hardware to create easier 3D prints. They will also be offering the software to developers to further expand its capabilities in an iron-fisted effort to ‘take the virtual to actual’.

Even Apple is getting in on the game with their recent purchase of PrimeSense this past November…meaning that sometime soon, throwing CAD models around in space or creating high-resolution 3D scans natively from an iPad will become a normal thing.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.57.18 PM

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.57.02 PM

“For decades, people have had to learn new languages, techniques and commands to get our devices to do what we want…Our vision with Intel RealSense technology is to reverse that, and make our devices learn and understand us.”

-Mooly Eden, VP of Perceptual Computing Group

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 12.57.31 PM

You can expect to see the RealSense 3D camera in product offerings from Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo and NEC ranging from tablets to laptops later this year.

(Images via Intel/YouTube)


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.