What is Intel RealSense Technology and Why Do You Need to Tap into It?


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This is a term that I have seen for a while but got into it after the announcement of the Intel Developer Challenge, where developers get the chance to sharpen their skills and learn by completing a number of challenges and earning points in the process. One challenge stated was to do with Intel RealSense technology. I decided to know a little bit more about this and see how it can be used in application development especially because it is next-generation technology and that excites me.

Intel inside. This is something that I am greeted with every time I open up my laptop. Many machines like my laptop are powered with Intel processors and other computing devices such as graphic chips, network interface controllers and integrated circuits among others. One thing that Intel is known for is being at the forefront of computing technology in terms of processing and semi-conductor manufacturing. They see the future and develop for that, all with the purpose of creating accessible computing power for unlocking high computing potential. They have been working on RealSense technology for a while now making it available for developers to use it in shaping how we interact with technology in the ever so near future. So what is RealSense anyway?

Well, this is a platform that implements gesture-based human-computer interaction techniques. How this works is that a series of consumer grade 3D cameras comprised of a conventional camera, infrared laser projector, infrared camera and microphone array, together with a machine- perception library work together to for a unified human-computer interaction.

RealSense camera technology features include:

  • Facial analysis that tracks multiple faces and identifies facial features such as eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Hand and finger tracking, where it tracks up to 10 simultaneous fingers and 8 gestures and access to raw depth data.
  • Sound processing that offers speech recognition as well as background noise subtraction.
  • Augmented reality allowing for object tracking and drawing Computer Generated (CG) image on real world scenarios.

Many laptops and tablets (HP, Dell, Acer, Asus and Lenovo) as of early this year are coming out with the Intel RealSense Technology allowing people to use it. Intel has worked on bringing this technology in a smartphone form factor allowing RealSense to be more mobile and more accessible to more people.

How then is Intel allowing developers to innovate with Intel RealSense? Software developers can make use of the SDK and create the next generation of natural, immersive and intuitive software applications with the capabilities of facial recognition, hand gestures, background removal, depth enabled photos, scene perception, 3D scanning and more.

The possibilities of this are endless, especially on a smartphone application. Over the time RealSense has been around, a lot of gaming use cases and features have been employed allowing one to play games with gestures (just as in Xbox Kinect) and voice commands. Additionally, in the case of sharing your gaming experience with others, as on Twitch, the social video streaming service for gamers, people using RealSense cameras can be immersed in the game using background removal without using a green screen background.

What is interesting however, is how RealSense cameras can be used in the smartphone experience. In the video below, a demo is done showing how RealSense cameras can be taken advantage of in several applications on a smartphone. The phone is tracks the user’s motion in a 3D space which can be used in a myriad of ways for example creating an immersive mapping experience. In addition to that, playing games in this mode allows one to use motions in the physical world to respond during gameplay. Moving left or right or forward in the physical world has the same effect in the game, allowing for a very immersive experience. Having this at the level of your smartphone is something game developers should really tap into.


Intel is trying to empower developers with this skill in order for them to innovate and make maximum use of this technology. By allowing developers to take part in challenges like the Intel Developer Challenge that’s happening currently, developers are allowed to play around with this and see how they can create powerful next generation applications for a really powerful and intuitive mobile experience.

We are playing catch up with the world in terms of technology development and we need all the knowledge we can get to better create and innovate. Developers have a chance to build experiences and technology that will pit us against the rest of the world and showcase our undeniable talent.

If you are looking into learning more about this then sign up for the challenge. It runs up to the 31st of December. Not only will you learn more about this and other amazing concepts, you earn points for every challenge you complete which are then redeemable for some amazing Intel goodies. Why don’t you give it a try?