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5 Technologies That Made a Summer Splash in Germany

IFA 2015

At IFA 2015, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show, computer vision and voice control bring new things to life.

Nearly a quarter of a million people saw the future unfold earlier this month at Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA), Europe’s largest consumer electronics show held in Messe, Berlin. They experienced first-hand that when objects can see or hear, they can bring new experiences or react to people’s needs in better, more natural ways.

Here are five technologies Intel demonstrated at IFA 2015:

1. RealSense 3D Scanning

While the Intel RealSense 3D depth-sensing camera technology has applications for laptops, desktop PCs and drones, it also can assist with mundane, everyday tasks.

By determining depth and scanning objects in 3D, the camera can verify whether that Ikea table will fit into a car’s trunk or how best to stack boxes in order to optimally use available space.

IFA 2015

The 3D scanning technology can even prevent frustrating run-ins with TSA employees. Travelers could simply use the RealSense camera’s depth perception technology to scan carry-on luggage. This takes the guesswork out of determining if a bag meets the airline size requirements.

2. Smart Kitchen Appliances

For anyone who isn’t quite ready to start the day without a jolt of coffee, the DigitalSTROM demo is an exciting sign of things to come.

Attendees were able to order a cup of Joe with a smile thanks to a supped up coffee machine that boasted an Intel Core i7 computer processor, a touchscreen display and a RealSense camera. The resulting machine was able to automatically detect when someone approached, which cued the coffee maker to start brewing coffee.

This isn’t the only kitchen appliance improved by new technology.

Computers are becoming a common appliance in many kitchens, and now computers can help prepare meals. Intel teamed up with the Food Network to make some of the channel’s online recipes work with a RealSense camera. The technology enables chefs to navigate cooking instructions using voice control and hand gestures.

“Through natural, instinctive controls, you have your hands free while you cook,” said Martin Vesper, CEO of digitalSTROM. “Digitization and connectivity — combined with innovative household appliances — will soon be able to automate even the most demanding workflows in the kitchen in an intelligent way.”

3. Project Tango

Project Tango asks an engaging question: What if our smartphone and mobile devices could see?

Intel and Google have designed technologies that do just that. When mobile devices perceive the environment as humans do — in true 3D– they can do things such as map terrain, provide body scans, or bring reality into games.

At IFA 2015, a smartphone prototype built with 3D motion tracking, RealSense depth measurement and location mapping technologies was attached to a Nerf gun. The smartphone helped the shooter track a target’s position and viewing direction, allowing players to move around virtual foes in any number of immersive augmented reality games.

IFA 2015

Project Tango can also be used with Minecraft. Using the system, the player can place virtual objects on the ground, go around the stack, turning away from the objects or even walk away — all without the system changing or deleting the objects’ position.

Players could even create their own 3D avatar by taking a picture of their upper body with the device.

As the camera is moved horizontally around the player, the display builds a digital image for the avatar. If the rotation is performed incompletely, the system is clever enough to calculate the missing data and fill in any blank spaces.

4. Talking Scooters

By saying “hello, smart bike” into the helmet, attendees could sit on a BMW motorbike and inquire about the vehicle’s route. Riders could also learn motor status information, such as speed, tire pressure or light status.

The Intel Connected Helmet is a smart helmet designed to work with the BMW C Evolution electric scooter. Using Intel Edison technology, the rider is able to access data from the bike’s key computer systems.

IFA 2015

Questions are interpreted by Intel voice-recognition software, and the answers are piped into the helmet’s built-in audio system. This means that riders don’t need to fiddle with a separate device or take their eyes off the road.

To increase safety, the back of the Intel Connected Helmet incorporates LED lights, showing all light signals from the scooter. The hope is that bikers will be more visible to drivers, which will reduce the number of road accidents.

IFA 2015 Talking Helmet

5. VRX iRacing Simulator

The VRX simulator allowed participants to feel the thrill of driving a racecar.

By combining the ultra-realistic iRacing driving game with cutting-edge VRX hardware and Intel RealSense, test drivers got a highly immersive gaming experience. The rig gave drivers a triple-screen view of the race track, force feedback via actuator motors in the seat and steering wheel plus real-time head tracking powered by RealSense.

The real performance under the hood delivering the rich graphical experience came from a 6th Generation Intel Core processor, the computer brains that now power everything from thumb-sized Compute Sticks, stylish 2-in-1 computers and powerful gaming systems.

The original version article appeared here.


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