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Intel moves to make 3D gesture control as pervasive as the mouse

September 12, 2013 | Telepresence Options

space mind control

Story and images by David Cardinal / Extreme Tech

Gesture-control peripheral makers Leap Motion and Haptix have stolen the spotlight from traditional input devices over the past year with promising new devices and OEM design wins. A bit lost in the mix has been tech-giant Intel's sizable investment in what it calls perceptual computing. At IDF 2013 this week, Intel unveiled its plans to make 3D input as common as the mouse and touch have become. Front and center was Creative's new $200 Senz3D, which supports applications developed using Intel's free perceptual computing SDK. In addition to demos of the Senz3D, Intel announced that its upcoming 14nm Broadwell chip -- available for ultrabooks in late 2014 -- will support integrating a 3D camera directly into the bezel of laptops.

Perceptual computing as the key to pervasive computing

First unveiled by Intel along with its perceptual SDK at IDF 2012, the company believes that what it calls perceptual computing will be as important and transforming as the mouse was 50 years ago. It contends that as computing becomes more pervasive -- like the power grid is today -- then "perceptual" interfaces will be required. Intel defines perceptual interfaces as being immersive, intuitive and natural. During a technical breakout session, Intel's Director of Perceptual Computing, Dr. Achintya Bhowmik showed off this effective and amusing video of a frog playing a video game to illustrate the point:

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