How Apple stomped on Intel's plans to make RealSense emotionally smart

Apple bought the emotion-sensing technology in Intel's 3D camera

Intel has grand plans for computers that will recognize human emotion using its RealSense 3D camera, but Apple appears to have dealt it a setback.

RealSense uses a combination of infrared, laser and optical cameras to measure depth and track motion. It's been used on a drone that can navigate its own way through a forest, for example.

It can also detect changes in facial expressions, and Intel wanted to give RealSense the ability to read human emotions by combining it with an emotion recognition technology developed by Emotient.

Emotient's plug-in allowed RealSense to detect whether people are happy or sad by analyzing movement in their lips, eyes and cheeks.

Intel added the plug-in lto its RealSense developer kit last year, saying it could detect "anger, contempt, disgust, fear,” and other sentiments. A video shows the technology in action.

But a few months ago Apple acquired Emotient, and that seems to have put the brakes on Intel’s plans, at least as far as that company’s technology is concerned.

Intel has removed the Emotient plug-in from the latest version of the RealSense software development kit, according to the changes published this week.

It’s not exactly clear why the Emotient engine was pulled. Apple didn't respond to a request for comment, and an Intel spokesman couldn't immediately explain.

It's possible Intel didn't want to rely on a technology that's now owned by Apple, or Apple may have stopped providing access to the Emotient plug-in.

RealSense is also used in smartphones, tablets, PCs and robots. It can capture 3D video, recognize objects and measure distances.

The RealSense SDK still has features that allow it to recognize some facial expressions, but it's unclear if they’ll be as effective as the technology from Emotient.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?