Intel Reuters

Intel’s research and development department in Haifa, Israel is developing a 3D camera for laptops and tablets that has the ability to decipher a user’s emotions.

Igal Iancu, the strategic planning director of Intel Perceptual Computing Group, confirmed the development of the 3D camera. The 3D camera will have high precise sensors, remote control capabilities and the ability to replace backgrounds while shooting video. Iancu said his team is developing an interface to control the camera that is based on gestures, voice and facial expressions. Iancu called the 3D camera the future of “man-machine interaces.”

“It will have the ability to sense excitement and emotions – whether the user is happy or smiling,” said Anil Nanduri, the director of Intel’s Perceptual Products & Solutions department. The camera will also be able to identify distance, size, depth, color and contours of items in view.

So what good is a 3D camera? Nanduri said that it will be able to help with education. By tracking eye movements and emotional reactions, the 3D camera will be able to identify when and why children are having difficulties with reading. The camera can also help create 3D blueprints of objects for use in the growing field of 3D printing.

Other cameras on the market have similar capabilities, as does the Xbox Kinect from Microsoft, but Intel said its developing a much smaller one that can replace webcams on smartphones, tablets and laptops.