Intel's RealSense 3D Laptop Camera: Australian Hands On

Intel's RealSense 3D camera is like having a next-generation Kinect inside your laptop. It essentially turns your workspace into a holodeck, complete with sophisticated gesture controls and a face-tracker that can sense your current mood. In addition to various productivity scenarios, the technology is also being pitched at gamers. Indeed, one of the first laptops to launch with the device will be Asus' Republic Of Gamers-branded G771. We tested some of the 3D camera's gaming features during Asus' Transformer Book Chi T300 launch. Watch the video to see it in action.

One of the chief advantages of RealSense's 3D laptop camera is the ability to play motion-controlled video games without an extra peripheral. We tried our hand (literally) at a water-based tech demo as well as a Lemming's style puzzle game. Both responded to our gestures accurately and without lag. As with the Kinect and other motion controllers on the market, it takes a while to get used to the controls but even complete novices should be able to get the hang of it within a few minutes.

We also tested RealSense's face scanner which transported a 3D rendering of my noggin into a 3D snowboarding game. This took a few attempts, which an Asus rep blamed on poor lighting. (Presumably, nocturnal gaming sessions in the dark are going to be a no-no.) The scanning software did a pretty great job of reproducing my facial likeness into the game, although I maintain my facial hair isn't that ginger. Tch.

All in all, the RealSense camera works more or less as advertised, although we remain unconvinced that it's going to take off with gamers -- especially the type of gamer who drops a couple of grand on a mobile gaming rig. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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    Maybe not for motion controls, but games like Nevermind ( which use the realsense camera to detect your heart rate and change the experience in response to that? Could be fairly nifty.

    i think the best use of something like this is as a secondary controller for certain in-game actions that would limit your mobility in real life, using gestures that require you to sacrifice in game control.

    for an FPS:
    - reloading is triggered by a gesture that requires letting go of the mouse first
    - diving to prone requires both hands to be lifted from keyboard/mouse
    - pushing an objectrequires gestures from one or both hands depending on size
    - opening door requires at least one hand for the gesture
    - an otherise unlocked door/gate can be held closed to secure an entry point. more hands = stronger hold and players on the other side trying to open it must exceed the number of hands used to hold it to breach the entry.

    there are plenty of ways to use something like this in a way that is immersive

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