Azure Media Redactor was launched in September has part of Azure Media Analytics. Microsoft has now announced that the technology is bring released in public preview. The company says the tool will come to all Azure regions and will also arrive in China datacenters and for the US Government. Customers can get the Face Redactor for no extra cost.
If you are unfamiliar, Azure Media Redactor is a face detection tool that reads a video and automatically blurs faces. Using a multi-process workflow, the redactor gives editors the ability to tweak blurring and cover faces based on ID.
The technology sifts through every frame of a video and automatically tracks and blurs faces, even if in motion. Microsoft says this is because of smart tracking that can match the angle of the face too. The company has warned the process is not 100% accurate.
In its announcement in September, the company explained why this tool is important for Azure customers:
“This Media Processor (MP) will perform anonymization by blurring the faces of selected individuals, and is ideal for use in public safety and news media scenarios. The use of body worn cameras in policing and public spaces is becoming increasing commonplace, which places a larger burden on these departments when videos are requested for disclosure through Freedom of Information or Public Records acts. Responding to these requests take time and money as the faces of minors or bystanders must be blurred out.”
Azure Media Redactor in Media Analytics
The new face redacting technology is available as part of Azure Media Analytics. Microsoft announced the new Azure portal in September. This section comes with new processors, asset details, closed caption configuration, Fairplay DRM, and enhanced workflows.