CES 2014: Intel Highlights 3-D Cameras, Voice Controls Over Processors, Ultrabooks


Goodbye, processors and Ultrabooks. Hello, 3-D cameras and voice controls.

While Intel in recent years has used its press conferences at the Consumer Electronics Show to highlight new chips and Ultrabooks, this year the company focused on new technology that will allow users to interact more naturally with their computing devices through voice and gesture controls.

To that end, the chip maker introduced the Intel RealSense 3-D camera, which the company said will boast a facial recognition feature and finger-level motion controls. The RealSense technology, which is powered by processors thinner than a Las Vegas casino chip, also comes with a depth sensor that can help provide richer 3-D models and allow users to easily edit background and foreground videos.

[Related: CES 2014: Panasonic Intros 7-Inch Toughpad Tablet For Enterprise]

Mooly Eden, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Perceptual Computing Group, called RealSense technology "the new brain of all of this perceptual computing."

"We can interact naturally [with computers]," Eden said. "We can interact the way we do with each other -- with hands, with our gestures and our facial expressions. The computer will be able to track with the 3-D camera my facial conditions and know what my mood is and then know how to act accordingly."

Eden said the RealSense 3-D Camera is just the first product in a series of forthcoming perceptual computing products under the RealSense brand.

Intel said the RealSense 3-D cameras will be embedded in new laptops, desktops and tablets from a variety of OEM partners including Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Fujistu and Dell. The first RealSense systems will be available in the second half of this year.

In addition to PCs, Eden said Intel will be using the RealSense technology for 3-D printing; the company announced a technology alliance with 3-D printing pioneer 3D Systems, which will make 3D Systems' scanning, editing and printing applications available for Intel RealSense-powered devices and systems.

Intel also announced an expanded partnership with speech recognition software maker Nuance to bring the company's new Dragon Assistant software to Intel-powered laptops, desktops and now tablets. Intel said starting in early 2014, Dragon Assistant will be available on new tablets, the first of which will be from Lenovo.

PUBLISHED JAN. 6, 2013