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Intel wants to make the PC more friendly to humans, and it’s making progress on that.

Intel’s Mooly Eden, senior vice president of the perceptual computing group, said that the company is making progress on “perceptual computing,” or using new interfaces such as gesture and eye-tracking to control computers.

Eden announced the Intel RealSense 3D camera as one of the first products in a family aimed at making the PC as natural to use as computing smartphones and tablets. Intel says the camera integrates 3D depth sensing with a traditional 2D webcam module.

Holding a module, Eden said, “It’s thinner than a Vegas chip.”

The company made the announcements at the 2014 International CES, the huge tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.

“We’re moving more toward convenience as opposed to raw performance in the computing industry,” said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. “The question is how OEMs (original equipment makers) and consumers support it. It is about making the computing experience more intuitive.”

But a lot will depend on the execution, Shim said.

To make perceptual computing happen, Intel has struck relationships with 3D Systems, Autodesk, DreamWorks, Metaio, Microsoft Skype, and Lync Scholastic. He also introduced the next-generation Nuance Dragon Assistant.

iJustine, a video blogger and TV personality, showed how you could change the background of your Skype call just by selecting a new background.

The camera can tell what your mood is by the expression on your face.

The camera is a full HD color 1080p video camera. It can detect finger movements, facial expressions, and recognize gestures. The Intel RealSense 3D camera will be integrated into products like a 2-in-1 laptop-tablet hybrid, laptops, and all-in-one desktops. The camera will be coming in the second half of the year from computer makers including Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, and NEC.

The 3D camera will be able to do tasks such as video conferencing, enhanced learning, augmented reality, immersive gaming, and image capture.

Mooly Eden of Intel

Above: Mooly Eden of Intel

Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

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