Intel is channeling more and more energy into its core chip business, which means that some of the less important areas of work are now on the sidelines. The company said it is “phasing out” RealSense and redirecting computer vision talent and technology to work that “better supports” its core chip business. The semiconductor giant will keep its existing commitments, but the end is clearly not far off.
Questions about the fate of RealSense first surfaced after Saga team leader Ben Moshe announced his departure from Intel two weeks ago.
RealSense’s goal is to make computer vision more flexible and accessible. A company or researcher could purchase cameras to help with everything from robot navigation to facial recognition. There was even a developer-focused phone released.
However, this product was never really mainstream, and the company acknowledged that there were too few customers buying significant quantities of RealSense cameras. In reality, this division was not profitable, even if its work helped other Intel teams.
For Intel, the reason is probably trivial: the company wants to dump the ballast. CEO Pat Gelsinger wants Intel to regain its crown as the planet’s premier chipmaker, which means focusing resources on development and manufacturing. Regardless of how successful RealSense turns out to be, it potentially distracts attention from Intel’s core strategy.