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, preorders are slated to ship on June 27, 2019.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a 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.