Back in February, Microsoft introduced its Azure Kinect DK camera, a reimagining of the company's failed Kinect technology from Xbox. Today, Azure Kinect DK is now available to all consumers through the official Microsoft Store.
That Azure name tells you a lot about the camera. This is not a consumer-fronted device but is instead aimed at developers. Indeed, the Azure Kinect DK will not work with Xbox One consoles, fro example.
Until now, the camera has been locked in pre-order, but Microsoft is now starting shipments. If you are interested in this device, it costs $399. However, it is currently limited to the United States and China markets.
Specs for the Azure Kinect include:
- 1-MP depth sensor with wide and narrow FOV options which enable the user to optimize for their application
- 7-mic array to enable far-field speech and sound capture
- 12-MP RGB video camera for additional color stream that's aligned to the depth stream
- Accelerometer and gyroscope (IMU) that enable sensor orientation and spatial tracking
- External sync pins to easily synchronize sensor streams from multiple Kinects simultaneously
Using the Kinect branding is interesting considering the original Xbox Kinect technology is something of a failed experiment. A very interesting experiment yes, but one that ultimately did not click with users.
That original motion sensing camera was a masterpiece of technology. It was arguably too innovative and ahead of its time when it launched in 2010 on the Xbox 360. When the Xbox One launched in 2013, Microsoft bundled Kinect with the console. That turned out to be a huge mistake for various reasons, not least it put $100 on the console compared to the Sony PS4.