At Mobile World Congress (MWC), Microsoft introduced a new way to use its Kinect system, which was originally distributed as a motion controller for the Xbox. The hardware offered under the name Azure Kinect DK is now sold as an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor that can detect objects in rooms and exchange this information via the Azure Cloud. The combination of several Kinect DK systems for three-dimensional space recognition is also possible.
Until now, the camera system has only been offered as a Developer Kit. Microsoft also provides a number of machine learning models that analyze the recordings according to their intended use. Microsoft gives as an example a hospital in which the Kinect DK system is supposed to recognize independently in which condition patients are, in order to inform doctors in an emergency.
Compared to the Xbox Kinect, the case of the Azure Kinect has shrunk, but the functionality doesn’t differ. A main camera with 12 megapixels resolution takes the pictures, another 1 megapixel camera is available for depth detection. In addition, seven microphones are installed, which can record and transmit sounds in the room. It is also possible to connect a number of Kinect DK sensors via a jack connection to create three-dimensional audio recordings.
The hardware of the Developer Kit is offered for $400, further costs arise for the computing power required in the Azure Cloud.