Intel shows off face-scanning technology with Fallout 4

Computer manufacturer Intel is currently developing a fun new tool called RealSense which utilizes three cameras to scan and map real-life objects and then recreate them in a digital space. During this week’s CES 2016 trade show, the company was on hand to demo RealSense in a very appropriate way for gamers: by scanning their faces and placing them on the head of the main protagonist in Fallout 4.

According to this in-depth hands-on preview from The Verge, the process of transposing your mug from real life into the grim post-apocalyptic world of Fallout 4 is actually pretty simple. While you keep your face as still as you can, a second person slowly walks around you and scans your face using a tablet equipped with a camera and a custom version of RealSense’s Uraniom software. Once the scan is complete, the RealSense program uploads a 3D image of your head to a cloud server which is connected to a PC copy of Fallout 4. Boot the game up, and suddenly you’re staring at a fully rendered vault dweller sporting your roguishly good looks.

While it’s a fun new feature, using the RealSense technology in this way has its limitations. Since a still, unmoving version of your face is scanned, your character’s in-game face doesn’t move when conversing with other characters, which can make the prospect of watching yourself in digital form even more creepy. Since RealSense-equipped Intel tablets will also likely be very expensive, it’s very unlikely that many people will want to buy one just so they can scan their face into their favorite games.

Still, it’s a cool new innovation which seems to work much better than the more rudimentary face-scanning features we’ve seen in past games. If Intel succeeds in its goal of making RealSense a more widely adopted standard in camera-equipped devices, it might not be too long before being able to literally play as ourselves in games become the norm over the exception.