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The Dragon Assistant software will be preinstalled on Ultrabooks from participating OEMs from the end of this year, and will allow users to use voice to search the web and local libraries, and to interact with social media services such as Twitter and Facebook.

Effectively, it’s Siri for Windows in all but name.Perlmutter also showed off a new 3D camera which perches on the top of a monitor or laptop and provides Kinect-style motion tracking.

Manufactured by Creative and available from early 2013, the system appears remarkably accurate: Kirk Skaugen of Intel’s PC Client Group demonstrated how it tracked each of his ten fingers in real-time, and showed a simple game based on mimicking the hand movements of an onscreen character.

Skaugen predicted that such cameras would in time be built directly into laptop screens and PC monitors, as basic webcams are now, bringing gesture control to every display.

Intel calls this multi-input approach “Perceptual Computing” and to encourage its development the company has today released a free beta of its forthcoming Perceptual Computing SDK, enabling programmers direct access to libraries supporting face analysis, finger tracking, close-range hand gesture recognition, voice processing and object tracking in both 2D and 3D.

Source: PC PRO