Microsoft Kinect returns for Azure, developer kit preorders live

Azure Kinect DK
Azure Kinect DK (Image credit: Microsoft)

MWC 2019

Microsoft's ill-fated Kinect failed to overcome the challenges of the gaming space, despite its impressive motion tracking capabilities. And while Kinect production halted in late 2017, Microsoft is bringing its technology forward for a second run in the business world.

At Microsoft's 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) keynote in Barcelona, the firm unveiled a new "Azure Kinect" sensor alongside HoloLens 2, pushing its computer vision technology outside the living room.

The Azure Kinect developer kit packs a 12MP RGB camera alongside a spatial 7-microphone array and orientation sensor. It pairs with a 1MP depth camera with both wide and narrow views individually, with multiple devices capable of providing an improved "panoramic understanding" of environments. And with USB-C connectivity, the new developer kit extends compatibility across Windows 10 and Ubuntu systems.

Early adopters at DataMesh, AVA retail, and Ocuvera all presented initial impressions of the device, praising its depth and audio technologies, and flexibility across industries.

The Azure Kinect development kit has now hit the Microsoft Store and is available for preorder. Priced at $399 (opens in new tab), preorders are slated to ship on June 27, 2019.

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • Very interesting. I'm glad the tech is still being pushed in the industry.
  • They're smart to continue developing this technology. I'm hoping it will make a comeback in gaming in the future. Couch-and-controller-gaming is great, but more diversity in options is better.
  • There's a reason why Alex Kipman insists that this device is for the enterprise and not for consumers in Verge HoloLens 2 hands on interview. The third iteration will most definitely pit the device for the consumer market and it could possibly be much cheaper and with double the generation gap plus a lot of consumer support, including gaming.
  • Very cool news
  • This is a great tool, I hope it finds its way to the hands of forward-thinking developers.
  • Seems like a great price point.
  • This is good news for makers & engineers because I've seen countless projects do some amazing things with the larger original version
  • Love kinect, now make it compatible with next xbox one with usb-c, to play previous kinect games... I know tha's pricey and people will not buy only for xbox, but it's a plus
  • I'm waiting on them to combine a game with the Kinect, and HoloLens. I think that would make for some really fun gameplay at home when you get to interact with the environment on, and off the screen.
  • So does it work on the Xbox One?