Just as digital cameras revolutionized photography, a new class of camera is about to change the way we capture and view digital images. They're called depth cameras, and while they’re just about to hit the market, here are a few reasons why we’re already super excited and feel innovative camera arrays featuring Intel® RealSense™ technology are here to stay.

1. Focus After the Fact

Depth cameras are actually composed of several constituent cameras that are able to take composite photos from multiple angles at once. That means if you have a tablet with Intel RealSense snapshot, you will be able to shoot a photo, and then, while viewing the image later, choose which person or object should be in focus. Selective focusing will be great for making still-life shots more dramatic (by blurring the background behind a bird, for example) and a lifesaver when photographing kids, who rarely sit still long enough for you to check your focus.

2. Measure the Moment

Since depth cameras are constantly measuring the distance between objects within the camera's field of view, you will be able to extract those numbers and use them for your own purposes. In other words, when you capture your friend in mid-leap off of a tire swing, seemingly suspended over a lake, a depth camera will let you measure exactly how much air she was catching.

3. On Second Thought, Measure Everything

If instant in-photo measurements sound like a feature you’d never use, you've probably never bought a couch. Depth cameras act as photographic tape measurers, so you will be able to take a snapshot of a sectional in the store, take another shot of the spots in your home where it might go, and confirm that it will (or won’t) fit.

4. Cut Out Background Distractions

Depth cameras will be great at isolating specific shapes in a shot. After all, the camera array will be recording the contours of its subjects and creating a 3D view (rather than a flat, two-dimensional one). That extra dimension will pave the way for quick, intuitive photo retouching, including the ability to cut the distracting background right out of a picture.

5. Copy and Paste

If you will be able to cut the background out of a shot, you’ll also have the option of pasting your photo’s subject into a completely different photograph. This trick will facilitate intuitive, no-fuss graphic design like creating a holiday card that features a solid-colored background behind your extracted subject.

6. Color Your Perspective

Think of depth cameras as a committee of image sensors, one that can confer over the characteristics of a given photo. One benefit of combining all that data is a better understanding of color within an image and the ability to extract a wide range of colors. So you’ll be able to ensure your next shot of spring flowers retains the orange of a tiger lily and a tulip's pop of yellow, while turning everything else black and white.

7. Filter the Foreground (or Background)

Most photo filters are all-or-nothing, overlaying the entire image with a given effect. Depth cameras will let you apply filters to specific objects or areas within the shot. The results will run the spectrum from silly to subtle, such as creating a comically blurred trail behind a sprinting friend, or sharpening a single portrait subject without changing the artfully defocused background.

With Intel RealSense snapshot technology you will be able to re-focus photos after taking them and measure objects from a shot. Learn more here.