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Intel unveils smaller 3D depth camera for smartphones

Intel has announced a slimmer version of its RealSense 3D depth camera which is small enough to fit inside a smartphone.

Published onApril 8, 2015

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, speaking at IDF in Shenzhen today, announced a new, smaller, thinner model of its RealSense camera technology, which is designed for use in smartphones

If you’re unfamiliar with RealSense, it is essentially a 3D depth sensing camera. The technology can be used to add depth information to photos, allowing for refocusing at a later date, and to control devices with various gesture controls, such as moving a hand or even winking.

Previous versions of the technology have already shipped in a number of PCs and tablets. Intel has also put the technology to work as a distance sensor in flying drones, face detection for video calls, Kinect-esque gaming experiences, motion tracking for virtual reality, and even for 3D scanning objects.


The new camera module is now slim enough to fit inside a 6-inch smartphone and has a lower thermal output than previous models, making it practical for smaller form factors. The new model also claims to have a longer range detection than before.

Intel also announced a partnership with Chinese online retailer JD and demonstrated how a tablet equipped with RealSense could be used to quickly measure box sizes and calculate the space needed for storage. A Windows 10 tablet using RealSense was also demoed, which used the camera to log in using face recognition.

Intel did not announce any specifications or a release date for its new RealSense camera, but it could end up in devices later in the year.

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