Depth-sensing 3D ZCam: Wii 2.0?

3DV Systems shows off the depth-sensing ZCam at CES 2008.

3DV Systems

My guess is that the ZCam from 3DV Systems was first developed as a training tool for the Israeli army, but you can use this 3D camera to out-Wii the Wiimote. It looks like a large Webcam, but instead of merely capturing video, the ZCam senses depth in real-time. It'll likely show up as a part of a game bundle--3DV Systems was showing off a boxing demo where your phantom punches would land on your opponent's face or a heavy bag on the screen--but it also has potential beyond gaming (though it could make an immersive game like World of Warcraft even more addictive). It could free you of your Media Center remote and let you navigate Windows Media Center with simple movements of your hand, for example, or be used to spruce up your next Web conference. The Israel-based 3DV Systems encourages developers to create their own applications, using the ZCam's software development kit. According to the company, the 1.3-megapixel ZCam captures video at up to 60 frames per second, isn't a drain on CPU resources, and will be priced at less than $100 when it's released sometime toward the end of the year.

For more, see Molly Wood hit the heavy bag with the ZCam on this CES video. Stick and move, Molly, stick and move!

About the author

Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester, Mac user, and amateur photographer based in New Hampshire.


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