Acer's newest gaming laptop, launched at CES 2016, packs an Intel RealSense camera. In tandem with Windows Hello software, it lets you login by scanning your eye.
Acer's Aspire V Nitro Black Edition proved to be a compelling gaming laptop, with a 4K display and strong gaming performance in an understated shell. The latest model doesn't change all that much: You'll find sixth-generation Intel processors, gamer-friendly Nvidia GeForce GTX960M GPUs and the same bashful design. But Acer has tucked the latest Intel RealSense camera into the new Aspire V Nitro, unveiled at CES 2016, offering up some cool new tools for gamers and non-gamers alike -- including Windows Hello.
Acer claims the new Aspire V Nitro will be the first laptop to offer Intel's new RealSense camera, available on 15- and 17-inch models of the gaming notebook. Prices start at $1,099 (which converts to about £745 or AU$1,525), and it'll be available in North America, Europe the Middle East and Africa in February.
An Intel RealSense camera is one of the few pieces of new hardware that supports Windows Hello, one of the niftier features packed into Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. If you've got the right hardware, you can use it to log onto your machine with your face, fingers or iris. But unless your laptop has a fingerprint reader or you're willing to pick up an external camera, you'll be limited to a handful of new laptops with supported webcams (such as Microsoft's Surface Book) if you want to check out Hello.
Of course, a RealSense camera will do a lot more than just spare you from typing in a password. We've seen evolving art installations, simple gesture-driven games and more. You can use a RealSense camera to scan an object you're holding, and then send that scanned image to a 3D printer. And Acer claims that gamers will soon be able to scan their face and stick it into a game they're playing, or scan objects and drop them right into a game.
An Intel RealSense camera isn't yet a reason to run out and get one of these laptops -- we'll still need to spend some time putting the machine through its paces, and seeing if the rest of the package is up to snuff. Unfortunately, details on the rest of the specifications are scant.
See all our coverage of CES 2016 here.