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3D Camera Technology and Its Uses

Intel RealSense R200 3D Camera 3D camera technology for mobile devices has been in the talks for years and at CES 2015 is when the cameras started to appear in mainstream products including PCs, cell phones and tablets. 3D cameras are rapidly growing in popularity because of its ease of use and wide range of applications, but how does the technology actually work?

We'll use the most popular camera to date as an example, and that is the Intel RealSense 3D camera. RealSense cameras feature three lenses, a standard 2D camera for regular photo and video, along with an infrared camera and an infrared laser projector. The infrared parts allow RealSense to see the distance between objects, separating objects from the background layers behind them and allowing for much better object, facial and gesture recognition than a traditional camera. The devices come in three versions: front-facing, rear-facing and snapshot. 

Here are several real-world applications for 3D camera technology:

  • Realistic avatars - Scanning faces and turning them in to usable objects
  • Volume dimensioning - Scanning an object and using accurate length measurements to determine volume
  • Distance measuring
  • Accurate gesture control
  • Object avoidance

Will 3D cameras ever outnumber standard 2D cameras? Will 3D cameras be coming to rugged tablets for business applications?

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