Back in 2009 Microsoft did a press conference and announced that they will launch a motion sensing input device that allows one to play games on the Xbox 360. For a person like me who had played computer games since the time of arcade gaming, this project Natal as they code named it was just a marketing gimmick. But when I experienced it in action for the first time at a Microsoft store I was pleasantly surprised. The depth sensing cameras on the Microsoft Kinect (That’s the commercial name for Project Natal) worked brilliantly in sync with the on screen games. Ever since the success of Microsoft Kinect we have seen many companies trying and failing to replicate the accuracy that one can expect from a Kinect.
Recently, Intel announced their version of depth-sensing 3D camera called RealSense. According to the company’s website the camera will work seamlessly with a lot of apps that would be available on Windows 10 which would be available from July 2015 onwards. Intel has also announced that they have managed to cramp in the 3d camera into a 6 inch Android phone and a few other Tablets that would be available soon. The company has already tied up with a lot of PC manufacturers to have RealSense cameras as a standard fixture on all their future Desktop systems.
So where can you experience the magic of Touch less motion sensors on a computer? Intel has informed that the magic begins when you see your computer unlock just by sitting in front of your PC. RealSense camera on the desktop will a face detection test and unlock the computer. This is just one example of it, there were many that were explained on the promo video the company released during the CES 2014.
RealSense would have extensive applications in the field of 3d Scanning and 3d Printing as well. The depth scanner can be used as a 3d Scanner to scan human face’s, and objects. Once the object is scanned you could use their hands to repair or 3d sculpt over the scanned file. This would add limitless possibilities to what a designer can do, as he/ she would have the freedom of expression while using hands and not be limited to the use of a mouse to design.
RealSense would also be available on a Tablets and phones, hence these devices could be used as portable 3d scanners and with 3d printers going wireless the phones can become the next generation’s workstations.
The success and failure of RealSense, purely depends of the hardware capability of the device as the applications of it look really promising. I guess all we have to do now is wait and watch and hope that Realsense can be for 3d Printing what Kinect was for the Gaming Industry.