Microsoft, at the Mobile World Congress, also took the wraps off Azure Kinect Developer Kit (DK). The device is a PC peripheral designed to connect to the cloud and be used for computer vision-related tasks, without a computer.
The 5 inches long and 1.5 inches thick peripheral includes Microsoft‘s latest AI sensors and spatial 7-microphone array for computer vision and speech solutions. The Azure Kinect combines a 1 MP depth sensor, the same ToF (time of flight) sensor developer for HoloLens 2 with a 12 MP camera and the spatial microphone array all in one package.
Kinect was then originally an Xbox 360 accessory for motion sensing designed to control games with gestures. The experimental product was however discontinued in 2017 as it failed to gain popularity, mostly because nobody really knew what to do with it.
The Azure Kinect DK, which has an “intelligent edge”, is expected to work with a range of ‘compute types’, and can capture a high level of visual and auditory information and interpret those inputs. In simple words, the new device will allow developers and businesses create AI-powered applications -- built on facial recognition, body tracking, and other services -- that can understand what is happening in the physical world and respond if required. Ocuvera, a healthcare company, is using the Azure Kinect sensor to stop patients from falling in hospitals and care homes.
Preorders for the $399 Azure Kinect DK has already begun, and will initially be released in China and the US market, the company confirmed.