The most interesting thing in today’s Microsoft Build 2018 conference is Project Kinect for Azure. After first Kinect motion sensing input device this is the big news by Microsoft about this. The Kinect lineup has included in Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows but the technology also has been used in Microsoft Hololens.
Microsoft hasn’t provided information on Project Kinect for Azure. The package is based on Microsofts next-generation depth camera and it packs onboard computing capabilities built to run Azure AI services. Microsoft says this whole thing is small and power efficient. Project Kinect for Azure can be used for hand tracking, high fidelity spacial mapping in combination with Microsoft time of flight sensor and other sensors.
Kipman confirmed that Project Kinect sensor bundle will be used with the next version of Hololens. Project Kinect will give you new capabilities to HoloLens, adding the fourth generation Kinect depth sensor for next HoloLens.
Alex Kipman says “Project Kinect for Azure unlocks countless new opportunities to take advantage of Machine Learning, Cognitive Services, and IoT Edge. We envision that Project Kinect for Azure will result in new AI solutions from Microsoft and our ecosystem of partners, built on the growing range of sensors integrating with Azure AI services. I cannot wait to see how developers leverage it to create practical, intelligent and fun solutions that were not previously possible across a raft of industries and scenarios.”
Here are some technical characteristics of the new depth sensor by Alex Kipman:
• The highest number of pixels (megapixel resolution 1024×1024).
• Highest Figure of Merit (highest modulation frequency and modulation contrast resulting in low power consumption with overall system power of 225-950mw).
• Automatic per-pixel gain selection enabling large dynamic range allowing near and far objects to be captured cleanly.
• Global shutter allowing for improved performance in sunlight.
• Multiphase depth calculation method enables robust accuracy even in the presence of the chip, laser and power supply variation.
• Low peak current operation even at high frequency lowers the cost of modules.