Before we start with the understanding of what is Azure Kinect, we should know,
- Basic knowledge of cloud computing and its services
- Basic knowledge of Microsoft Azure
- Good to have knowledge of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT
Background I would like to explain the short information about ‘Artificial Intelligence and Kinect’ before jumping in to ‘Azure Kinect’.
What is Artificial Intelligence
In simple words ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ is the artificial creation of the system like a human who can observe, react, learn, plan and process the instructions, virtual reality and provide intelligence on it. It is rapidly emerging technology and internet enable technology. Sometimes AI is also called as Machine Learning.
What is Kinect and its background
Kinect is the motion sensor device using in Xbox 360 gaming console. This device provides natural user interface to interact with it without any intermediate device. This device has capability of face detection as well as the voice recognition. This device has 3D camera which creates the virtual images and with the help of motion sensor it detects the movements of the images. The first-generation Kinect for Xbox 360 was introduced in November 2010. This device was originally created for gaming purpose, but now a days this technology is applying to real worlds applications in the virtual shopping, education, healthcare industries, digital signage etc. This product is developed by Microsoft.
Introduction of Azure Kinect
As I explained above Kinect is the motion sensor device. Azure Kinect device has,
- DK camera system
- 1MP depth camera
- 360-degree microphone
- 12MP RGB camera
- Orientation senor
- Size and weight – 103 x 39 x 126 mm and weighs only 440g
Image Source – Microsoft Docs Azure Kinect has ability to create platform for developers with Artificial tools and plug this in to the Azure cloud for cloud-based service, computer vision and speech models. Azure Kinect has its own developer kit (DK) by Microsoft which is available in the portal site here. Microsoft Azure Kinect SDK has new sensor SDK, body tracking SDK, vision APIs, speech service SDK for Azure Kinect DK. This is the latest released feature by Microsoft for Azure cloud. Please note that Azure Kinect DK is not designed for use with Xbox. By using Azure Kinect, now we can build the applications like cashier less stores, manage inventory of the products, track the patient movements integrate these motions with the AI in hospital, enhance physical therapy, improve and monitor athletic performance, computer vision and speech models etc. We can enhance feature of Azure Kinect application with Azure cognitive services. Transcribe and translate speech in real time using Speech Services. Add object, scene, and activity detection or optical character recognition using Computer Vision or use Azure IoT Edge to manage PCs connected to your Azure Kinect DK device.
Image Source – Microsoft Docs Azure Kinect device price is $399.00 and can be purchased from Microsoft’s store here. As of now (12th August 2019) this product is only available in the US and China.
Inside of Azure Kinect DK
Image Source – Microsoft Docs
- 1MP depth sensor with FOV option
- 7-microphone array for speech and sound capture
- 12-MP RGB video camera for an additional color stream
- Accelerometer and gyroscope (IMU) for sensor orientation and spatial tracking
- External sync pins to easily synchronize sensor streams from multiple Kinect devices
- Azure Kinect Developer Kit
- Purchase Azure Kinect from Microsoft Store