Time to get your arm muscles in shape.
It’s a good idea in general, but it could be essential if the kind of in-the-air gestural control that Acer announced today for its Aspire V17 Nitro gaming notebook becomes commonplace.
This version features Intel’s RealSense 3D camera, which can detect movement in three-dimensional space. The Intel component includes a conventional camera, an infrared camera, and an infrared laser projector. The tech employs bounced-back infrared light to infer depth, which, combined with RealSense motion-tracking, is used to determine body movements as well as facial expressions.
The gesture-sensing capabilities resemble Microsoft’s Kinect, so that users can navigate Web pages, play games, or operate applications by body motions and without touching a keyboard or a mouse.
The three-dimensional detection also means that the laptop can create 3D models, which can then be utilized for 3D printing. That capability could undercut HP’s recent launch of its unusual desktop PC, Sprout, a key attribute of which was the ability to generate 3D models in a prosumer-level computer. Sprout also employs the Intel RealSense technology, but includes a touch-sensitive projection surface.
In its announcement, Acer pointed to such business applications as 3D modeling, mapping, and architectural design, as well as gaming that utilizes augmented reality — in addition to controlling the computer without leaving fingerprints.
To take advantage of such powers, Acer also announced two new, 3D-enabled applications.
There’s Warrior Wave, a Greek-themed game that allows players to stop, lift, and bounce characters and objects with hand motions.
A 3D scanning program called 3DMe enables a user’s profile to be captured from the front, left, and right sides.
The user’s likeness can then become a 3D character in an animated setting, or can be sent away to become a 3D printed figurine. If you think selfies are narcissistic, wait until your home is populated by little 3D plastic characters looking like you and everyone you know.
The RealSense-equipped laptop will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show, opening this week in Las Vegas. The model offers a 17.3-inch HD display, up to 16GB of memory, a 4th Generation Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M graphics, and four built-in speakers with Dolby Digital Plus Home Theater surround sound.
Pricing has not yet been announced. The RealSense version of the laptop is scheduled to ship sometime this month.