Microsoft has introduced a smart AI camera technology for developers. The Azure Connect was introduced at a product showcase at the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The product was unveiled along with the second-generation HoloLens 2, an augmented reality headset.
Azure Connect is a hardware that most manufactures will prefer to put in their networked devices. The tech in Azure Connect comes with a high-level sensor, a high definition camera, and a special microphone. The microphone helps in seeing and hearing what’s going on around the camera.
Here’s what Tom Mainelli, VP, International Data Corporation (IDC), had to say about the launch.
The most attractive feature in the Azure Connect is cloud connectivity. The AI-powered technology not only observes and listens to what’s going around the camera but also understands and processes the information around it. The tech firm has borrowed the technology from Kinect accessory that was available for Xbox One and Xbox 360 gaming consoles.
Microsoft had first released the Kinect sensor hardware for Xbox game consoles in 2010. The company integrated the hardware and technology behind it for PCs running on Windows. In 2017, Microsoft announced that it has stopped making Kinect systems after recording sales of 35 million units.
Azure Connect has a 12-megapixel sensor along with 1-megapixel depth. The seven microphone array on the board is capable of working with various compute type systems. The device is being retailed at $399 as of now.
The idea of the Azure Connect is to integrate it into systems that use smart devices on the edge of networks. The company plans to use such products in use cases where the user is not sound or capable of understanding things around. One such example would be using these cameras in hospitals where patients are physically fit to understand what’s happening around them.
The device is very much like a box designed for companies and developers trying to create smart camera-powered technologies. Azure Connect will be a device that would power more smart and useful networked devices.