INTEL HAS LAUNCHED a RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit so that developers can experiment with the device and create apps before it hits the market.
The smartphone integrates an Intel RealSense 3D camera and can recognise objects and detect motion and gestures. It is loaded with Google Project Tango, and is now on pre-order through Intel's online store.
The $399 Android smartphone features an integrated ZR300 depth camera that is much smaller and more advanced than those seen in Intel-powered PCs and tablets.
There's also a 6in 2560x1440 resolution screen, a 2MP front camera and an 8MP rear camera, an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 processor, 64GB of storage, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and an HDMI port. The RealSense camera is situated at the edge of the phone and can capture 10 million points per second.
However, those buying the device won't receive it right away. Intel didn't provide any shipping dates, but said "at this time, customers with a bill-to and ship-to address in the US are permitted to place a reservation". Only one smartphone can be reserved per order.
Intel revealed at IDF in September that it was working with Google to deliver a Project Tango developer kit for Android smartphones using its RealSense 3D cameras.
The chip maker said that the combination of RealSense 3D and Google's 3D mapping software will see a host of new experiences including indoor navigation and area learning, virtual reality gaming and 3D scanning, among other things.
Intel ran a few demos on a prototype device during the IDF conference, showing how the 3D mapping software uses the RealSense cameras. The first was an app that can generate 3D models of environments in real time. By pointing the smartphone around your environment, you can build virtual Minecraft-style blocks to create walls and eventually structures around you.
This is visible only on the smartphone's display, but is locked to a physical position in the room and you can physically manoeuvre around it to see it from any angle and zoom in and out.
Intel also showed us a more fun app based on the same 3D depth sensing technology in the form of a shoot ‘em up game. Better yet, the rep pulled out a modified NERF gun which allowed the phone to be slotted on top and enabled more interactive 3D game play. The game reflected your moves virtually as you moved around your real life space. µ
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