Almost Dead Kinect Takes Rebirth As Project Kinect For Azure


Microsoft has emphasized accessibility technology heavily in the last several years, especially under CEO Satya Nadella.

As Scott Guthrie, executive vice president at Microsoft, said in a press briefing, Microsoft is answering the question of "how developers can build [applications] today for the rapidly evolving future".

Nadella praised the upcoming European Union regulation on Monday, calling privacy a human right. However it seems like that Microsoft was not able to attract users as it had expected it to be. Microsoft is facing direct competition from Google, Apple and Amazon when it comes to AI capabilities.

"As computing becomes ubiquitous, the intelligent edge is emerging as the next technology frontier", said Scott Guthrie, EVP for Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group.

The business technology giant signed a partnership with Chinese drone-giant DJI and mobile computing giant Qualcomm.

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Microsoft will collaborate with drone company DJI to develop commercial drone solutions for sectors including agriculture, construction and public safety, seeking to extend Windows 10 and the Microsoft Azure platform to new devices and industrial applications. Jabil sites have inspection stations where cameras take pictures of partially assembled circuit boards.

To that end, the company today announced a five-year, US$25 million commitment aimed at harnessing the power of AI for people with disabilities. This new software development kit will enable developers to utilize Microsoft's speech recognition tech on their products, which will allow for improved speech recognition thanks to its noise cancellation and far-field voice tech.

The new Project Kinect for Azure reintroduces the sensor with a brand new goal; it is designed for AI developers to create tools on the cloud-based Azure platform. It's open-sourcing the Azure IoT Edge runtime, and it's also bringing Azure Cognitive Services to IoT Edge, starting with Custom Vision. Nadella pitched Project Brainwave as a way for developers to perform AI tasks quicker by using the company's specialized chips (FPGAs) built by Intel. So it is highly unlikely that Google might discuss the same at the event.

A customer plays an Xbox 360 game with Microsoft's Kinect sensor.

On May 7 at Build 2018, Microsoft officials are making a number of new edge announcements.