Intel is putting more and more energy into its core chip business, which means that some of its less important work is now being left behind. The company said it is "winding down" RealSense and redirecting computer vision talent and technology to work that "better supports" its core chip business. The semiconductor giant will honor existing commitments, but the end is clearly around the corner.
Questions about the fate of RealSense first emerged after Saga development team leader Ben Moshe announced his departure from Intel two weeks ago.
The goal of RealSense is to make computer vision more flexible and accessible. A company or researcher could buy cameras to help with anything from robot navigation to facial recognition. There was even a developer-oriented phone released.
However, this product was never really mainstream, and the company admitted that there were too few customers buying RealSense cameras in significant numbers. In fact, this division was not profitable, even if its work helped other Intel teams.
For Intel, however, the reason is probably trivial: the company wants to shed ballast. CEO Pat Gelsinger wants Intel to regain the crown of the planet's top chipmaker, and that means concentrating resources on development and manufacturing. Regardless of how successful RealSense proves to be, it potentially detracts from Intel's core strategy.