Remember how Microsoft discontinued the development if Kinect? Well, it's being brought back, but in a different form and purpose. Today at Microsoft‘s Build developers conference, the company announced Project Kinect for Azure, saying that the sensor array will have all the capabilities we know about it, but will come in a much smaller, more power-efficient package. This basically means that the time of flight depth sensors, IR sensors and many others, are now with Azure AI.
“Building on Kinect‘s legacy that has lived on through HoloLens, Project Kinect for Azure empowers new scenarios for developers working with ambient intelligence,” Microsoft said.
If you take a look at the image above, you'll notice that the new Kinect is a lot smaller than the one we've come to know about in previous years. The depth sensor resolution is now at 1024×1024, which is an improvement from 640×480 that came with the Xbox One. In addition, it comes with better functionality when in full sunlight, resulting in the sensor being used in more places.
This just goes to show that Microsoft has learned, retooled and brought out improved products over time. If you don't know, this is the fourth iteration of the device and brought back to be used for AI and smart sensors.