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Monday, January 06, 2014
Intel Brings Human Interaction to Devices in 2014

In an effort to make interaction with technology simpler and more natural, Intel today outlined how it, in collaboration with other companies, is bringing human-like senses to Intel-based devices in a new family of hardware and software products called Intel RealSense technology.

The Intel RealSense 3D camera is one of the first products in the new family and is the first integrated 3D depth and 2D camera module that helps devices "see" depth much like the human eye.

"For decades, people have had to learn new languages, techniques and commands to get our devices to do what we want," said Mooly Eden, senior vice president, general manager of the Perceptual Computing Group. "Our vision with Intel RealSense technology is to reverse that, and make our devices learn and understand us. By equipping them with technologies that mimic human senses in a more genuine way, our everyday experiences such as learning, communication and gaming are transformed; and entirely new ones are possible."

Speaking at a press conference at the 2014 CES, Eden also detailed collaborations with 3D Systems, Autodesk, DreamWorks, Metaio, Microsoft Skype and Lync Scholastic, Tencent and more. He also introduced the next-generation Nuance Dragon Assistant.

The first Intel RealSense 3D camera features a depth sensor and a full 1080p color camera. It has the ability to detect finger level movements enabling highly accurate gesture recognition, facial features for understanding movement and emotions. It can understand foregrounds and backgrounds to allow control, enhance interactive augmented reality, simply scan items in three dimensions, and more.

The Intel RealSense 3D camera will be integrated into a spectrum of Intel-based devices including 2 in 1, tablet, Ultrabook, notebook, and all-in-one (AIO) designs. Systems with the new camera will be available beginning in the second half of 2014 from Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo and NEC. On stage, Intel showcased seven different devices with the integrated camera from Dell, Lenovo and Asus.

Eden said Intel RealSense technology will deliver "new immersive experiences," including changing how people collaborate through video conferencing, enhanced learning and edutainment through augmented reality, immersive gaming, and the ability capture and share 3D images.

To demonstrate the possibilities of video calling and conferencing with the Intel RealSense 3D camera, Intel and Microsoft Corp have collaborated to deliver more immersive video calls than ever before on Skype and Lync. The 3D camera will provide the ability to control and remove a person's background during a video call, to present only the caller and not what is actually behind them. With this capability, people have more options; they can change the appearance of their background, or remove it all together to share a presentation, watch a movie or sporting event together.

Intel expects that gestures, voice and touch will encourage children to become more active participants in games rooted in learning. To underscore the potential in edutainment, Eden announced a collaboration with Scholastic, the global children's publishing education and media company, to design interactive experiences for two of its most iconic global franchises, Clifford the Big Red Dog and I SPY. Showcased on stage with multi-user functionality, where, in a Clifford game, children ages 3 and up can engage using arm and hand motions, talking and touch to advance the experience while learning core literacy skills along the way.

Eden highlighted other companies Intel is working with to enhance the edutainment and gaming experience. Lincoln Wallen, chief technology officer at DreamWorks Animation said, "We are excited to see that the Intel RealSense 3D camera technology will be integrated into mainstream devices. Enabling 3D vision in these devices can bring consumers new experiences with our characters and our content. We are looking forward to collaborating with Intel on this new innovation."

Additionally, 3D Systems (3DS) CEO Avi Reichental, joined Eden on stage to detail the collaboration between the two companies to bring 3D scanning and printing to the mainstream user. As early as the second half of 2014, 3DS will make available its consumer Sens scanning, editing and 3D printing software applications on Intel-powered devices equipped with the new Intel RealSense 3D camera. As a result, the student, the hobbyist and the consumer will be able to easily and affordably create 3D items. Additionally, 3DS plans to make its 3D scanning technology available to developers as part of the Intel RealSense software development kit.

To advance the computer's "hearing" sense, Eden also announced that the next-generation Dragon Assistant from Nuance is now available on a variety of systems from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo 2 in 1, Ultrabook, notebook and AIO devices, and coming in devices from Asus and Toshiba in early 2014. Also, for the first time, Dragon Assistant will be available on tablets, coming first from Lenovo in early 2014.

The new Dragon Assistant is an entirely new conversational personal assistant that works with popular websites and applications. It comes with selectable personalities, and allows for an ongoing dialogue with Intel-powered devices. People can simply tell it to play music, get answers, connect with friends and find content - all by using natural language. Dragon Assistant is also capable of calendar checks, getting maps and directions, finding flights or booking a dinner reservation. Available offline, people can control their device, dictate notes and more without an Internet connection.

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