It’s pretty likely that your next laptop will be packed with a lot more manufacturing punch than your last as devices like the new Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro notebook are now including support for 3D scanning and functionality which takes advantage of Intel RealSense.
In case you’re not familiar with it, Intel’s RealSense technology drives a next-level webcam capable of sensing depth and dimension. That kind of ability allows the lowly laptop to take on heavy-hitting tasks like 3D object scanning and gesture controls reminiscent of those featured in Kinect.
The bottom line is that these new features mean you can play games or launch apps without ever laying hands on a notebook’s keyboard or mouse, and that you’re suddenly armed to take on 3D scanning, creating 3D models and then outputting your work to a 3D printer.
“Acer believes three dimensional computing offers unlimited potential for both professional and consumer uses. Business applications include 3D modeling, mapping and architectural design, while the most popular consumer uses will likely include augmented reality gaming, and simple PC navigation and control,” says President of the Acer Notebook Business Group, Jerry Kao.
The Intel RealSense 3D camera works on three axes; it’s a conventional camera, an infrared camera, and an infrared laser projector, while the 3DMe app enables 3D scanning straight from a notebook.
Intel is pushing the RealSense platform hard, and they even announced a contest aimed at spurring developers to create new applications for the 3D scanning technology. The Intel RealSense Technology App Challenge 2014 pitted developers against each other in a battle to see who could take down $1 million in prizes by creating the best applications for their “immersive human-computer interaction” platform. The company also has plans to launch tablets and smartphones which feature the technology this year.
If a laptop just doesn’t tickle your lust for 3D scanning and printing-enabled devices to the proper degree, you can check out the HP Sprout. It’s built atop the HP TouchSmart “all-in-one” PC, and the Sprout includes a built-in projector, scanner, and cameras in the Illuminator Column. The guts of the system are packed into the back of the system and arc over, via an arm, the display. Inside the column, the projector, scanner, and a group of cameras can capture images and infrared spectrum images, and sense the depth of objects placed below it. It’s also built on Intel’s RealSense.
“Whether it is controlling a game with your gestures or easily scanning your face or an object for 3D printing, the Acer Aspire V Nitro featuring Intel Core processors and Intel RealSense is an exciting step forward for consumers looking for a high-performance notebook,” says Kirk Skaugen of Intel’s Client Computing Group.
The Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro will be available in January, and while no price has been announced, it’s pretty likely that it will come in around the $1,499.99 charged for the most recently versions of this model line.
In the past, laptops were just handier and less glitzy versions of more powerful desktop machines, but these days, laptop hold enough juice and computing power to take on a wide variety of tasks. Do you think the next generation of laptops — which include 3D scanning and printing features — will have a major impact on the market? Let us know in the Acer Aspire 3D Scanning forum thread on 3DPB.com.