Nearly a decade ago, Microsoft Kinect to enable motion-controlled gaming on its Xbox 360 video game control that despite being quite a piece of tech, it was met with lukewarm reception. However, the lack of success was not because it wasn’t useful. In fact, it is a powerful device as researchers and tinkerers around the world had found some interesting practical use of the device and it includes enable browsing the Internet with swimming motion, controlling a robot, and enable a quadcopter to fly autonomously – just to name a few.
Microsoft must have taken those cues and thought that its Kinect has better use than video games. The software giant has shrunk the hardware down and updated it with a few new tech for business use. The Redmond tech company is calling it, Microsoft Azure Kinect DK.
“The Azure Kinect DK is a developer kit that combines our industry-leading AI sensors in a single device. At its core is the time-of-flight depth sensor we developed for HoloLens 2, high-def RGB camera and a 7-microphone circular array that will enable development of advanced computer vision and speech solutions with Azure. It enables solutions that don’t just sense but understand the world — people, places, things around it. A good example of such a solution in the healthcare space is Ocuvera, which is using this technology to prevent patients from falling in hospitals. Every year in the U.S. alone, over 1 million hospital patients fall each year, and 11,000 of those falls are fatal. With Azure Kinect, the environmental precursors to a fall can be determined and a nurse notified to get to patients before they fall.”
In addition, the gaming peripheral-turn-business hardware is also outfitted with a 12 MP RGB camera, as well as a 1 MP depth camera, and it will be powered by the Cloud and used for AI purposes. I guess not all failures are bad. At least, in the case of Microsoft Kinect, its failure lead to something even bigger and if I may say, purposeful.
All images courtesy of Microsoft.