Streaming games may save money for gamers looking to avoid purchasing titles outright, but what would really make it unique is if it offered something that no off-the-shelf game could. Enter Razer, makers of high-performance products for gamers. Razer’s new 3D camera, powered by Intel’s RealSense technology, allows gamers to display their superimposed head directly over game footage for more complete commentary in let’s play videos and live-streamed game play via platforms like Twitch. The camera is capable of removing the background from the image, leaving only the head and eliminating potential distractions.
The device is a Microsoft Kinect-like sensing device for PCs, but unlike the Xbox version, the Razer 3D camera will record the face of the player sitting in front of it and then map that image onto a game in real-time while it’s being streamed over the Twitch streaming game network or similar. RealSense cameras function in a similar manner to that of the Xbox Kinect but also do 3D scans of objects as well as people and picks up motion and gestures.
The Razer will track one’s head movements if seated in front of the desktop or if sporting a VR helmet and then capture and deliver the face into the game’s stream. It produces this effect through its ability to sense depth and, in conjunction with the software, “cuts out” the face before it from the background — no green screen needed — and then inserts it into the video stream being displayed. This background removal process can also be used to replace the background with another.
Pricing for the camera, while not yet known, is seen as being significantly less than that of the somewhat expensive video camera setups that have been used for this purpose until now. The as-yet unnamed tube-shaped 3D camera does not have a stated release date, although the popular money is on sometime in 2016.
One ray of sunshine is that Razer is saying that consumers will get immediate access when it comes to market, unlike previous devices that first made their way to developers as works-in-progress.