The technology behind Microsoft’s enterprise-focused computer vision camera, the Azure Kinect developer kit, will soon find its way into commercial products.

Microsoft is collaborating with two companies, Analog Devices and SICK AG, to create commercial devices using Azure Kinect’s 3D Time of Flight (ToF) depth technology.

Launched in July 2019, Azure Kinect developer kit includes a 1MP ToF depth camera, seven-microphone array, 12MP RGB camera, and IMU. The unit, which is priced at $400, is only available for purchase in the US, China, the UK, Germany, and Japan.

Image courtesy Microsoft

Microsoft says both companies will manufacture and sell the products, with Analog Devices taking the depth sensor silicon and a commercial depth camera module and aiming it at “consumer electronics, automotive cabins and industrial logistic use-cases,” the company says in a press statement.

SICK AG, a manufacturer of intelligent sensors and sensor solutions for industry, will put Microsoft’s ToF technology into its Visionary-T camera product line, which are targeted at applications such as intralogistics, robotics, or industrial vehicles.

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“We are excited about the momentum we are seeing in mixed reality and the strong ROI that our customers are achieving with HoloLens 2 and our Azure mixed reality services,” Microsoft says. “Today’s announcements will help to scale the breadth and impact of our mixed reality platform, which continues to increase the productivity of the firstline work force and transform how we live, work and play.”

Microsoft has also recently expanded HoloLens 2’s availability to Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • I’ve love to see a reasonably priced 3D scanner. I wonder if this can do better scans then the old Kinect?


    • silvaring

      There’s already tutorials on using it for volumetric video capture, using just two of these units and free software available online.

  • This is an amazing piece of hardware!

  • Amni3D

    A lot of people shoot this idea down, but I think this could be a big deal for more affordable full body tracking. There’s been experiments that prove you can estimate what’s happening through occlusion with a higher accuracy than your average Kinect solutions by actually taking into account the rest of the body, just the software isn’t readily available. But we know it *could* be done.

    Or maybe it can act like an additional sensor for Mixed Reality to catch the cases where the controller isn’t directly in front of the player.

    Or it could just be the Series X’s generic web cam accessory :v

    • ChromeBeta777

      I don’t know why they are so hell bent on inside-out tracking when instead they could have something like this that would be more reliable and still as portable. It’s not like setting up a webcam is difficult. It would enable VR headset makers to focus their resources on making their displays look better and it would allow the market to offer third party solutions for controllers, meaning that VR headset manufacturers wouldn’t even have to make their own.