Microsoft is bringing back the Kinect, as a PC Peripheral powered by the cloud, to be used for AI purposes.
The Kinect originally debuted as an accessory for the Xbox 360, allowing players motion control of games with their hands and/or body. While successful then, its initial bundling with the Xbox One and the lack of titles lead Microsoft to eventually discontinue it and rethink its approach.
That rethink has lead to this. Dubbed the Azure Kinect Developer Kit, the PC peripheral includes Microsoft’s latest AI sensors, including the time-of-flight depth sensor in the HoloLens 2, and a 7-microphone array for speech purposes. The peripheral also includes a 12-megapixel RGB camera and a 1-megapixel depth camera.
Developers have been using the technology for all manner of tasks (Lovingly collated by the Verge) and the new, smaller packaging is sure to make the technology even more accessible.
While the new Azure Kinect DK Sensor is in its early days, Microsoft has already gained a partner in healthcare. Ocuvera are using the sensor to stop patients from falling in hospitals, with a combination of AI algorithms, the sensor can determine when a patient is about to fall and alert nurses before the event takes place.
The Azure Kinect DK is available for preorder today for $399, and it will be initially available in the US and China.