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CES 2016: Intel shows off new smartphone with 3D RealSense camera

Most people may not know this, but Intel is no stranger to the smartphone world. It develops mobile processors that power a wide range of Android devices, like ASUS' ZenFone 2 line. But the company is not stopping there as at CES 2016, it just unveiled a smartphone equipped with a RealSense camera.

Virtually every smartphone has cameras on the front and rear, so what makes Intel's device special? Well, the RealSense camera allows the handset to recognise 3D objects and gestures, similar to Microsoft's Kinect.

The RealSense camera, which has the ZR300 designation, is actually comprised of a number of sensors, as Intel calls them: a RealSense R200 camera module, an accelerometer and gyroscope unit, a wide field of view camera for motion and feature tracking, an 8MP RGB camera on the back and a 2 MP RGB camera on the front.

"The Intel RealSense Camera ZR300 supports Google Project Tango specifications for robust feature tracking and synchronization via time stamping between sensors. Combined with its low power consumption the camera can provide versatile experiences, such as indoor mapping and navigation, as well as area-learning capabilities that naturally complement applications in 3D scanning as well as immersive virtual and augmented reality usages on top of drones and robotics applications", Intel explains. "The Intel RealSense Camera ZR300 provides high-quality and high-density depth data at VGA-resolution of 60 frames per second".

The rest of the smartphone is actually pretty interesting as well. It has a 6-inch QHD screen, Atom x7-Z8700 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal storage, but only 3G connectivity support, among other specs. And, of course, it runs Android.

The 3G network support is actually the least impressive thing about it. The omission of 4G LTE support is probably because Intel's smartphone is actually aimed at developers, and not the general public. This is a device meant to be in the hands of users who want to create apps that can take advantage of its RealSense camera.

The smartphone will be available for $399.99, and can be pre-ordered from Intel's site.