Toshiba have taken the Cell CPU usually found in a Sony PS3 and put it into a concept Qosmio G45 laptop, giving the machine a total of six processors (the original Core 2 Duo is still there, plus the four 1.5GHz synergistic processing elements in the Cell) and the ability to perform high-complexity visual tasks in real-time. The system is then able to upscale 640 x 480 video to 1080p via heavy-duty image processing in a mere three hours (whereas a normal Core 2 Duo machine would take 24), use the onboard webcam to recognise and translate hand gestures to control the laptop, and even trawl through stacks of video identifying common faces and building playlists from recurring actors.
Of interest to anyone who inhabit an online world such as Second Life, Toshiba also demonstrated software which used the Cell’s processing grunt to shoot photos of a user (again, via the webcam) and instantly animate, in real-time, that as a customisable 3D avatar which responds to your movement.
They’re calling the implementation the Toshiba Spurs Engine, and while there aren’t imminent plans to make it available to consumers, you could see some variant of it in future laptops and portable devices. Check out Crave’s video demo of the technology, by following the link below.