Intel Winding Down Its RealSense Computer Vision Business: Report
August 19, 2021 by Dave Haynes
The long-running IT publication CRN is reporting that Intel is “winding down” its RealSense computer vision business, meaning its depth sensor cameras are going away just as Microsoft ended production and support for its Kinect sensor cameras.
We are winding down our RealSense business and transitioning our computer vision talent, technology and products to focus on advancing innovative technologies that better support our core businesses and IDM 2.0 strategy,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“We will continue to meet our commitments to our current customers and are working with our employees and customers to ensure a smooth transition,” the spokesperson added.
The winding down of Intel’s RealSense business was confirmed two weeks after Sagi Ben Moshe, the head of RealSense and general manager of Intel’s Emerging Growth and Incubation group, said on LinkedIn that he was leaving the company after 10 years of service to start the next chapter of his career.
In the context of digital signage, the high tech cameras were used for applications like AI-driven computer vision, for audience measurement and shopper analytics.
Pitched as a “fast and easy” way to build products with computer vision capabilities, the RealSense portfolio consisted of stereoscopic, LiDAR and coded light cameras and modules that supported high resolutions and high frame rates in various form factors. These products were powered by Intel’s RealSense Vision processors and ASICs, and they were complemented with software development kits and software for use cases like skeleton tracking.
Most recently, Intel expanded its RealSense portfolio in January with Intel RealSense ID, an on-device facial authentication solution that was targeted for smart locks, access control, point-of-sale systems and other kinds of devices.
This is not a line of business I know all that well, but assume a lot of digital signage companies that would have a use for a camera for analytics or gesture recognition are now using purpose-built devices that have their own built in camera sensor, instead of an external device like a RealSense camera. Intel’s hardware devices all cost $159 or more, while I am thinking camera sensor units are probably a fraction of that (though a company going that path would need engineering chops).
Example: Miami’s AdMobilize, which does AI audience measurement, has its own special device with a built-in camera.