At the Microsoft Build developers conference last week, Microsoft announced Project Kinect for Azure. Their new sensor array will have better capabilities than prior versions in a smaller, more power-efficient package. Microsoft states they are “building on Kinect’s legacy that has lived on through HoloLens, Project Kinect for Azure empowers new scenarios for developers working with ambient intelligence.”
The new Kinect is much smaller than previous incarnations for the Xbox 360 and Xbox 1. The depth sensor resolution is 1024×1024, up from 640×480 on the Xbox One.
Project Kinect for Azure integrates with Azure cloud and edge platform. It is targeted at automation for in the security, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors, robots and drones with obstacle avoidance & automatic navigation, and what Microsoft calls holoportation.
The previous Kinect has been popular with maker projects due to price and capabilities. Microsoft initially only supported Kinect for Xbox. Adafruit was at the forefront of the call to create Open Source drivers for the ‘360 Kinect. Adafruit became known at the time for starting a bounty for creation of Open Source computer drivers, uping the amount when Microsoft stated they did not want such drivers.
Under pressure from the Maker community, Microsoft relented and released PC drivers. Today, Adafruit sells a Hacked Kinect skills patch in their store as a commemoration and to encourage others.
As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says in the Youtube video above, Kinect technology has been used worldwide in a wonderful variety of uses in medicine, education, and more.
What do you think of Kinect? Post in the comments!