Just a few years ago, the idea that your PC, tablet, or phone could “recognize” your face sounded like science fiction. But with new 3D scanning technology and depth cameras coming soon from Intel, a host of innovative applications could be here sooner than you think—and some are already a reality thanks to Intel.

1. To Put You Right in the Game

Currently, 3D scanning and facial recognition technology work together to enable video gamers to create avatars in their own likenesses that accurately reflect their facial movements in real time. These expressions can be imposed onto a digitized version of their own faces or onto cartoonish figures, monsters, dogs, and the like.

2. And Customize Your Gaming Experience

Emotion tracking, which the Intel® RealSense™ 3D camera achieves by analyzing 78 different points on a person’s face, could allow developers to make games that adapt to gamers’ reactions, providing more of the stuff that makes you smile and adjusting the difficulty to how frustrated you become.

3. To Put Your Face in Control

Put down that joystick. Depth cameras and emotion tracking make it possible for your face to be your controller. Rather than hitting keys or moving your mouse to control your in-game character, soon you’ll be able to game using only your head, face, and gestures. Sound far-fetched? These games will be here sooner than you think. Space Astro Blaster by CompSens will use Intel RealSense technology to put gamers at the helm of a space battleship as it fights against alien enemies who threaten the galaxy. Players will use hand gestures to control the ship and fire its weapons. Even cooler still, moving your head will control the ship as it dodges asteroids.

4. To Read Your Mind

Outside the context of video games, emotion tracking can be used to alert your computer if you become confused about something you’re reading or doing. Then your PC can preemptively offer assistance before you get too frustrated.

5. To Give You What You Want

Businesses are researching how facial recognition technology’s ability to detect emotions can lead to more accurate reads of customers during focus groups. Technology attuned to “microexpressions” of joy or disgust are able to get a much more accurate read than even face-to-face interviews by judging people’s “gut reactions” to products.

Similarly, some businesses are also considering implementing facial recognition technology in in-store cameras to determine what causes customers to feel negative emotions and to determine if there should be more personnel on the floor.

6. To Unlock Your Car

A facial recognition system that’s being designed for cars will give drivers an added level of security against vehicle theft. Every time a person enters the car, a front-facing camera with facial recognition software will determine if he or she is the primary driver. If he or she is, the driver’s personalized array of information would be displayed, including his calendar or favorite music. If he or she is not the car’s owner, a photo of the person in the driver’s seat will be sent to the primary vehicle owner’s smartphone.

7. To Let Your Face Speak for You

Looking ahead, innovative facial recognition technology has the potential to help people paralyzed by disease or injury to continue communicating with the world around them. Currently, quadriplegics can use eye movements to spell out words letter-by-letter that are then spoken by a computer. This process is effective, but slow. Developing technologies will be able to measure mouth and eyebrow movements, which combined with intensive facial recognition, will make language composition up to 10 times faster.

Intel RealSense technology will redefine how we are able to interact with our devices with world-class digital sensing technology by bringing you new ways to create, share and collaborate. Want a computer that adapts to your lifestyle? Learn more here.