Microsoft is reportedly working on beefing up its peripherals range of hardware heading into 2019. Thurrott reports the company is developing new webcams for Xbox One and Windows 10. As there are two separate webcams coming soon, each will serve a specific purpose.
The Windows 10 PC webcam will function alongside the Windows Hello facial recognition authentication.
On Xbox One, the camera will bring back a feature from one of Microsoft’s failed devices… Kinect. Specifically, the Kinect feature that would previously allow users to automatically sign in by simply moving in front of the camera.
We guess both webcams will come with Microsoft’s Surface hardware branding. Certainly, Surface chief Panos Panay hinted in October the company will be building a webcam eventually:
“Look at the camera on Surface Hub 2, note it’s a USB-C-based camera, and the idea that we can bring a high fidelity camera to an experience, you can probably guess that’s going to happen.”
Considering the demise of Kinect and the widespread integration of Windows Hello across Windows 10, it makes sense that Microsoft would want its own technology. Especially for Hello, where Microsoft may feel its can control security more completely with its own camera hardware.
As for any potential launch dates, the report does not offer any clues. However, Microsoft does not have any Surface events scheduled and does not typically launch new hardware early in a year. Perhaps we may have to wait until Build 2019 in the spring to see the company roll out the two webcams.
Xbox One Keyboard and Mouse
Speaking of Xbox One peripherals, we know that some new hardware will come much sooner. Razer is expected to launch the first keyboard and mouse built specifically for Xbox One at CES 2019 next month.
Microsoft brought mouse and keyboard support in September. Since then users have been able to connect their keyboard and mouse to Xbox One. Razer is attempting to take advantage of the support with the first dedicated set.