Intel Israel engineers Android phone 3D camera coup

Integration between Intel and Google tech will bring 3D and virtual reality apps to Android smarphones this year.

Intel’s RealSense technology is finally ready for prime time after Intel’s Haifa-based Israel team integrated the 3D tech with Google’s Project Tango.

RealSense, the new iteration of Perceptual Computing, is Intel’s contribution to the growing number of 3D and virtual reality platforms that developers can integrate into devices and applications, based on a library of pre-programmed routines that can be used to take advantage of the capabilities of 3D cameras. Project Tango does 3D motion and depth sensing, enabling cameras to see the world in a far more advanced – and human-like – manner than 2D cameras.

Together, the two technologies will deliver a camera that will let users to experience their surroundings in 3D, opening up the door to true virtual reality games and apps on devices. In a demonstration on Tuesday at IDF, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off an app that allows users to scan their environment and use the resulting 3D image in games, apps, and other environments.

The integration of RealSense and Project Tango, and the resulting SDK that will enable developers to build smartphone apps using the system, was engineered by an Intel Israel tech team, the Haifa office announced Tuesday.

“As a result, Android developers will now be able to create new applications and experiences for the Intel RealSense technology and Project Tango ecosystems including 3-D scanning, indoor navigation, depth-enabled photography and video, measurements and immersive augmented reality and virtual reality,” Intel Israel said. The SDK is set to be released to Android developers by the end of 2015.

First out of the gate, the company said, will be an Atom-powered smartphone that uses a long-range Intel RealSense camera to provide depth-mapping capabilities at VGA resolution of 60fps. It also includes a wide field-of-view feature-tracking camera and a high-precision inertial motion unit – a combined gyroscope and accelerometer – all required for the Google Project Tango Product Development Kit (PDK) to work properly, aided by the Intel RealSense SDK add-on for Android. The software suite enables developers quick and easy access to high-precision sensor data to create a new class of end-user software applications.

“The combination brings a wide-ranging set of computer vision technologies into a single mobile platform,” the company added.

“The solution is for Android developers to create new applications and experiences for the Intel RealSense technology and Project Tango ecosystems including 3-D scanning, indoor navigation, depth-enabled photography and video, measurements and immersive augmented reality and virtual reality. This complementary set of technologies enables Android developers to experiment with and create a new class of end-user applications on a single mobile platform.”

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