LAS VEGAS - Intel's been working hard recently to get its RealSense 3D cameras into as many devices as possible. We’re starting to see some new products with its camera at CES 2015, one of the most intriguing being a desktop from Lenovo. The company’s B50 is the first all-in-one PC with Intel’s RealSense 3D camera, which makes it a powerful work tool as well as an intense interactive gaming device.
The B50 runs an Intel Core i7 processor and features next generation NVIDIA GeForce graphics. Combined with its 23.8-inch, full HD, IPS screen with 10-point multi-touch technology, and you already have a stellar device. But hiding in a small oval at the top center of the display is Intel’s RealSense 3D camera, and that’s where the interactive magic happens, turning videos and games into immersive experiences.
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I got to test drive the RealSense 3D camera, and it was very weird and very cool at the same time. For video chatting, the Personify app works with the camera’s depth sensing capabilities to remove background images from your video. What you’re left with is you - just you - on the screen, along with anything else that's between you and the camera. It looked like someone choppily Photoshopped my body out of the environment, it does a good job of making you the focus and taking out any potentially distracting background images. Also, in the future, this technology could be used to lock your computer, making it only accessible by facial recognition.
When used with games, the camera’s 3D technology essentially puts your body inside the game. Currently there are two games available for the B50. In the soccer game, I found myself to be decent virtual goalie when I had to use my hands in front of the camera to block shots. However, in a game called Warrior Wave, I was not so good at guiding little warriors to their destination with my hands floating in front of the screen.
While a 3D camera on an all-in-one PC is a novel idea, Lenovo’s B50 shows just how useful it could be when paired with the right programs. We’re really excited to get out hands on one of these, so stay tuned for a full review. The Lenovo B50 will cost $1249 and will begin shipping in March.
Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.