Intel’s RealSense computer vision technology will soon be phased out as the company “goes out of business,” says CRN. If you don’t remember the tech from January of this year, where Intel pitched it as a way to create facial recognition systems, you might remember it from amazing tech demos (or maybe of a few devices, if you really paid attention).
Now that the technology is on the verge of disappearing, maybe now is a good time to look back on some of the interesting ways we’ve seen to remember good times.
- CES 2013 – Intel talks and demonstrates what it calls “perceptual computing”. The company presents its technology as a way to interact with your computer by moving and talking, and the following year …
- CES 2014 – Intel announces its RealSense 3D cameras, which it says will bring Kinect-like motion tracking to laptops.
- CES 2015 – Intel introduces a self-flying drone and wearer environment conscious vest powered by RealSense.
- CES 2016 – We see a preview of a VR headset that uses RealSense to map the wearer’s real environment, and a drone that uses the technology to avoid obstacles. In addition, Intel puts Dieter in Fallout 4 using a RealSense scan of his face.
- August 2016 – Intel announces a RealSense module designed to give robots the ability to “sense”.
- CES 2017 – Intel is showcasing yet another ‘fused reality’ headset using the technology (though it is canceling the project later in the year).
- CES 2021 – Intel announces RealSense contactless control software, which it touts as a way to make public kiosks controllable by gesturing in the air, instead of touching a screen.
- Literally a week ago, Xiaomi launched its robot dog, which uses RealSense for depth detection.
For the most part, demos were just that: cool apps that usually don’t end up in the hands of consumers. There have been a few actual RealSense products over the years, but they rarely lived up to what we saw at CES.
Intel said CRN that he will still fulfill his obligations to current RealSense customers, but said employees working on RealSense will move to other roles more focused on Intel’s core technology. Most people, however, will probably remember RealSense for the interesting demos and the promise of easy, fast computer viewing that didn’t quite seem to work.