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11 Tricks for Making Video Chats With Friends More Fun and Immersive

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Video chatting is a convenient way to talk to friends, and new innovations make it more fun than ever to stay in touch. 

1. Mess with the Effects 

Distort reality by changing the filters or effects on your screen. Video chat services like iChat for Mac users or Tango for Androids even let you edit or distort the image, kind of like a funhouse mirror. You can go from being black and white to having frog eyes with a click of a button. Your friends will love messing with the controls and trying out new extra-terrestrial looks. 

2. Play Video Games Together 

Now you can have your friend in the corner of the screen while you play games together. You can make distracting faces to throw friends off their game, or watch everyone’s reaction when you win.

3. Enter a Virtual World 

Enter a totally new persona and walk around a virtual world with your friends. It’ll be just like hanging out, but in a totally different kind of setting. Using a program like Personify, you can create a shared digital space for meetings or chats with friends. You’ll spend hours just creating the perfect hangout space for all your buds. 

4. Take Out the Background 

Get rid of unnecessary clutter by deleting the space behind you. With Intel® RealSense™ technology, you can cut yourself out of the original picture to minimize distractions. 

5. Add New Backgrounds 

Once you remove your old background, you’re free to add a new one. You can make it appear like you’re calling from anywhere in the world—or even outer space. The change of scenery will add a whole new layer to your conversation; your location in the middle of the jungle is sure to be a conversation topic. 

6. Use Avatars 

Ever want to look like a pirate? Thanks to facial recognition technology, you can communicate with a totally different face. The Intel® Pocket Avatars app records your facial expressions and maps them onto a variety of different characters. All the movements your face makes, the avatar will make, so it will be just like you’re actually a talking cow. 

7. Bring Up Models 

When working on something like interior design, you can bring up models and blueprints to better communicate your ideas. With Intel RealSense technology, you can interact with 3D models with the sweep of your hand.

8. Send Pictures 

Pull the pictures right onto the screen for fast and interactive sharing. Now your friends can see pictures from your last vacation while you describe it—just like a virtual slideshow.

9. Share Your Screen 

If you need help with something on your computer, hand the controls over to a friend. Screen sharing is great when the person assisting you is too far away to do it in person. You can also use it to help illustrate your point, or show what’s going on on your computer. 

10. Put on a Disguise 

Some video chat platforms give you options to dress up conversation by giving yourself a digital makeover. With Google Hangouts, for instance, you can access props that you can “wear” on the screen. The next time you talk with friends, you can wear a monocle or cowboy hat to mix things up. 

11. Send Videos 

Instead of the annoying process of sending links and opening new windows, send videos right through webchat. You can even super-impose yourself over the videos and pretend to react to whatever’s going on. Picture pretending to be underwater, or in the Wild West.

From reconnecting with family to keeping in touch with friends, the immersive video chat options made possible by Intel® RealSense™ technology are poised to change the way we communicate. Learn more here.

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11 Things You Didn't Know You Needed to Measure
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A simple measurement—made even easier by photo measuring technology—will save you wasted time, energy, and effort in the following scenarios. It never hurts to arm yourself with as much information as possible, especially now that innovative technology has put accurate, easy measurements at your fingertips. 

1. Doorframes and Hallways in Your New Apartment Building 

Even if you don’t live in New York City, where cramped stairwells and impossibly small apartments are just part of the charm, you’ll want to know ahead of time which of your current furniture will actually make it into the new apartment. Sure you love your four-poster bed frame or oversized couch, but if it doesn’t even fit through the building’s front door, wouldn’t you rather know that before moving day? 

2. Every Room in Your House, For When You Spot the Perfect Addition 

Even if it’s not new, every house is a work in progress. Be prepared to pick up the perfect statement piece to complete the look with photos of each room that you can measure whenever you happen to spy a great work of art or end table when you’re out and about. 

3. How Much Your Nieces/Nephews/Grandkids Have Grown

Of course you’re going to take a picture of the kids whenever you see them, and now when you say, “My, you’ve grown so much since last time!” you’ll be able to check how much is so much.

4. Your Snowmen 

Tap into your competitive side next time there’s a substantial snowfall and challenge friends and family to a snowman-building contest. When they’re all complete, snap a photo and measure up—award points for both size and style. In fact, the competitors don’t even have to be in the same place for this contest to work. Build your respective snowmen and share the photos amongst yourselves. 

5. How Much Air You Got 

Whether you’re jumping off the diving board or leaping off the ice for a triple axel, have someone document your athletic endeavors and later you can find just how much air you got. If you’re serious about your sport, do this regularly and you can plot your progress. 

6. The Inside Of Your Stove 

Especially if you’re in one of those tiny city apartments. Don’t let yourself buy that giant baking sheet (think of all the cookies!) just to find out it can’t fit in your stove; same goes for oversized casserole dishes. Before you stock your kitchen, make sure you know the dimensions of the oven space itself so you don’t end up with a bunch of useless supplies. 

7. The Distance Between an Outlet and Whatever You’re Plugging In 

This is especially important if you’re talking about an outdoor outlet. Don’t get too carried away with your plans for the perfect poolside margarita maker setup (or other electronic) without first making sure the cord will reach. It’s an easy fix—all you need is an extension cord—but better to know that before your party is in full swing. 

8. Window Height For Curtains

Maybe you think—like many of us did—that curtains are a one-size-fits-most kind of product, but unless you want the lower half of your body exposed or the curtains dragging on the floor, make sure you measure the height of your windows before ordering a set. Skip the rickety stepladder and just take a picture of the windows to get an accurate, reliable measurement.   

9. A Homemade Bookshelf

The beauty of building something from scratch is that you can make it exactly the size you need. Which means you need to figure out exactly what that size is. Consider not just the space you’re going to fit it into but also what it will hold—like if you have any especially tall books you need to take into account or anything else you plan to store there. 

10. Things That Are Just the Right Size

Do your friends have a TV that is large enough to gather around but not overwhelming or a love seat that comfortably sits two but still might fit in your small living room? They might not remember the dimensions of whatever it is you’re coveting but armed with photo measuring technology you can find out in just a snap. 

11. A New Appliance 

Appliances are a big purchase—physically and financially. Make sure you’re plenty prepared by measuring all the different dimensions that might come into play before you head out to compare models. 

From making sure your appliances fit to tracking your family’s literal growth, it’s time to put your photographs to work for you. Intel® RealSense™ technology can turn any snapshot into a useful measuring stick. Learn more here.

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11 Ways a 2 in 1 Device Gets You the Best of Both Worlds
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Phones, tablets, and computers for work, laptops for gaming—we don’t have enough hands to carry all the devices we need to use on a daily basis! By exchanging your tablet and laptop for a 2 in 1 device you can streamline your computing and lighten your load—without having to make any sacrifices. Here are 11 ways using a 2 in 1 device can help you have it all. 

1. Use It at Work… 

2 in 1 devices inspired by Intel feature the Intel® Core™ M processor, which boasts processing speeds far greater those of its competitors. This means they pack enough power to take on a full day of meetings, presentations, assignments… 

2. … or at Play 

… and games. Your computer use doesn’t stop when you leave the office, and neither do the benefits of your 2 in 1. In addition to increased processing power, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices feature graphics that are sharper and more vibrant than older models, so you can fully enjoy the visuals of your favorite game. Transform your laptop into a tablet with a flip, swivel, or by detaching the keyboard and you can use it to entertain yourself on your commute or on the couch.

3. It’s Practical… 

When used with its keyboard and mouse trackpad, your 2 in 1 feels as comfortable as your trusty old laptop (but with twice its battery life). It can run Windows, Office, and your favorite desktop apps and Internet browsers. 

4. … and Edgy 

And yet, it’s far from your ordinary laptop. With their razor-thin design, Intel-powered 2 in 1s are ultra sleek, modern, and sexy. 

5. Use it On the Go… 

But the slim design is about more than just looks: 2 in 1s are approximately half the weight of your older laptop and tablet combo, which makes them perfect for taking with you throughout the day. They also have a battery life that outlasts your older laptop or tablet (you can watch hours of HD videos on a single charge), so there’s no need for you to stay within a cord’s reach of an outlet. 

6. … or from the Comfort of Your Home 

2 in 1s offer something for the whole family: You’ll love that you can easily get work done remotely and on your own time, and your kids will love its gaming capabilities. The large screen means you can flip your 2 in 1 into tent mode and comfortably settle in for a family movie night.

7. Use it to Multitask… 

Switch seamlessly from your spreadsheet to your design project to your game with your 2 in 1 thanks to its powerful processor. The 5th generation Intel® Core™ processor family also powers new technologies like facial recognition and voice control, so you can easily switch between tasks—just say the word. 

8. … or Immerse Yourself 

Intel-powered 2 in 1s feature Ultra HD displays, which have up to four times the pixels of full HD. Pop on your headphones and get lost in your game or video—it’s never looked so good. 

9. It’s Reliable… 

The Intel Core M processor with Intel® vPro™ technology features built-in security features that help protect your data, user identities, and network access, so you never have to worry about taking your business home or on the road.

10. … and Flexible 

While your 2 in 1 may be dependable, it’s far from boring. Available in detachable or convertible models, you can switch your device from a laptop to a tablet at the drop of a hat. Spontaneity is the spice of life, and with a 2 in 1 device you can be prepared to go wherever the wind takes you. 

11. You Get More Value… for Less Money. 

In switching to a 2 in 1 device you are not only lightening your physical load—for which your briefcase or backpack will thank you—but are also going easier on your wallet. Intel-powered 2 in 1s, like the Pavilion 15 or 17, can be yours for less than $400. 

By pairing high performance power with a slim, mobile design, Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices give you the best of both worlds. Learn more here.

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