HoloLens 2 wasn’t the one product Microsoft introduced throughout its Sunday afternoon press occasion forward of Cellular World Congress in Barcelona. At the moment, it additionally took the wraps off Azure Kinect Developer Equipment, an all-in-one notion system for pc imaginative and prescient and speech options that seems to be a extra polished model of Venture Kinect for Azure, which Microsoft introduced final yr at its Construct 2018 convention.
“Azure Kinect is an clever edge machine that doesn’t simply see and listen to however understands the folks, the surroundings, the objects, and their actions,” Microsoft Azure company vice chairman Julia White mentioned onstage. “It solely is smart for us to create a brand new machine when now we have distinctive capabilities or know-how to assist transfer the trade ahead.”
Azure Kinect combines a 1-megapixel (1024 x 1024 pixel) depth sensor — the identical time-of-flight sensor developed for HoloLens 2 — with a 12-megapixel high-depth digital camera and spatial 7-microphone array, all in a bundle about 5 inches lengthy and 1.5 inches thick that altogether attracts lower than 950mw of energy. It has a toggleable area of view (due to a world shutter and automated pixel acquire choice) and works with a variety of compute sorts, and can be utilized collectively to supply a “panoramic” understanding of the surroundings.
“The extent of accuracy you’ll be able to obtain is unprecedented,” White mentioned.
By way of Microsoft’s early adopter program, one buyer — Ava Retail — used Azure Kinect and the Azure cloud to develop a self-checkout and grab-and-go purchasing platform, whereas well being care programs supplier Ocuvera tapped it to detect when sufferers fall and proactively alert nurses to probably falls. A 3rd tester — DataMesh — experimented with a design that compares digital automobile design fashions to bodily elements on the manufacturing unit ground.
Azure Kinect — which comes almost 9 years after Microsoft launched the primary Kinect as a motion-sensing gaming peripheral for its Xbox 360 console — is offered within the U.S. and China for preorder, beginning immediately. It prices $399.