Intel's made a tinier, longer-range depth camera for phones

Intel's been a huge backer of gesture control plus 3D scanning, and so far it's managed to integrate its RealSense technology into select desktops, laptops, tablets and even drones. The missing piece of the puzzle? Smartphones. But that's no longer the case with Intel's latest RealSense camera, as showed off by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich at IDF in Shenzhen today. The new module is significantly smaller and slimmer than the previous version, has a lower thermal output, and claims to have a longer detection range as well. As such, Intel's able to fit it into a 6-inch smartphone prototype, though Krzanich, an exec known for taking risks with live demos, didn't turn on said device on stage.

On a related note, Intel also took the opportunity to announce its partnership with Chinese online retail giant JD to help improve the latter's warehouse management. Using a tablet with integrated RealSense depth camera, Intel showed off how the system can quickly measure the required box sizes for products of all shapes, and consequently summing up the space needed for shipment or storage. In another demo, Krzanich unveiled a Skylake-based development kit in the form of a Windows 10 tablet, which used a RealSense camera to quickly scan his face to log him in.

There's no word on availability nor detailed specs of the new RealSense camera just yet, but we can safely assume that it'll be just as capable of performing the aforementioned tasks on smartphones.