At GDC 2013 yesterday, Intel held a day-long developer session focused on what they call ‘perceptual computing’ — interacting with computers in more natural ways, thanks to advanced sensors. They brought with them a heap of Ultrabooks, each with a different design, to allow a room full of developers the opportunity to get hands-on experience with many facets of perceptual computing and the Ultrabook hardware itself. Additionally, Intel sent attendees of the session home with their custom Kinect-like depth camera.
Intel came well prepared with an array of Ultrabooks. The Asus TaiChi 21, Dell XPS 13, and Lenovo Yoga 13 were all present in vast numbers. Each includes a touchscreen and convertible functionality to change from a laptop to a tablet. The has dual-screens (one on the front of the lid and one on the back), the Dell XPS 13’s screen spins around in its bezel, and the aptly named Lenovo Yoga 13 has a screen that folds all the way back on itself.
The Ultrabooks allowed a room full of developers to start working with Intel’s Perceptual Computing SDK which last week dropped its beta tag and is now officially launched.
The Perceptual Computing SDK is freely available from Intel to anyone. It provides close-range hand and finger tracking, speech recognition, face analysis, and augmented reality functions to help developers get started on next-gen apps for Windows 8 and Ultrabooks. The SDK supports 2nd- (Sandy Bridge), 3rd- (Ivy Bridge), and 4th- (upcoming Haswell) generation processors from Intel.
Enabling the functions of the SDK is the Interactive Gesture Camera which was developed in partnership between Intel and Creative. The Gesture Camera is a miniature Kinect-like device loaded with sensors to allow developers to create more intuitive means of interacting with computers. The Gesture Camera is only available from Intel and can be purchased from their site for $150.
Intel expects that sensors provided by the Gesture Camera will soon be built into the bezel of Ultrabooks, allowing for perceptual computing on-the-go without any additional peripherals. The Gesture Camera and Perceptual Computing SDK allows developers to get started with perceptual computing apps so that when that time comes, there will be exciting experiences available for Ultrabook owners.
Yesterday, Intel handed out some 150 (or $22,500 worth) of Gesture Cameras to developers who attended their day-long dev session, called ‘Natural, Intuitive, and Immersive Gaming’ at GDC 2013. Intel is clearly excited about where the SDK will take natural human-computer interaction. They say that in 2013 they’ll be giving out $1 million to developers doing cool stuff with perceptual computing.
Disclosure: Intel is sponsoring Ultrabook News’ coverage of GDC as part of our involvement in their Ultimate Coder Challenge, in which our own Chippy is a judge of several teams which are competing to make perceptual computing applications.