Mixed reality continues to grow and play an important role in all fields, and at Ignite 2020, three announcements were made that continue that momentum:
HoloLens 2 is now available for purchase in Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Since HoloLens 2 launched in November 2019, it has experienced strong adoption in existing markets, and it was announced at Build 2020 that HoloLens 2 would be available in expanded markets in the fall.
Azure Kinect DK
Azure Kinect DK, launched in July 2019, has met with excitement and enthusiasm, signaling a clear need to enable enterprises to leverage Microsoft’s Time of Flight, 3D depth technology. The Azure Kinect was released as a developer kit for customers to test and build proof of concepts, and today, we are excited to announce our collaboration with two companies — Analog Devices and SICK AG — that will build devices enabled with Microsoft’s 3D Time of Flight depth technology.
Microsoft’s goal is to build a thriving ecosystem of independent hardware vendors, independent software vendors and system integrators to build devices, software, Azure cloud services and solutions on top of Microsoft’s state-of-the-art 3D Time of Flight depth technology, Microsoft Intelligent Edge and Microsoft Intelligent Cloud platforms, to solve customer problems that require depth understanding.
Analog Devices, a leading global high-performance analog technology company dedicated to solving the toughest engineering challenges, will incorporate Microsoft’s Time of Flight technology in the design, manufacture and sale of depth sensor silicon alongside a commercial depth camera module aimed at consumer electronics, automotive cabins and industrial logistic use-cases. Analog Devices is aiming to bring its first 3D Time of Flight imaging systems using Microsoft technology by the end of 2020.
SICK AG, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of intelligent sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications, will incorporate Microsoft’s Time of Flight technology to bring state-of-the-art technologies to SICK’s 3D Time of Flight Visionary-T camera product line, and make it even smarter. SICK AG’s first camera incorporating Microsoft Time of Flight depth technology is already available for select customers now, followed by the official launch of the Visionary-T Mini in early 2021.
Azure Object Anchors
Microsoft is expanding the portfolio of Azure Mixed Reality services to now include Azure Object Anchors, which is available in private preview.
Azure Object Anchors enables developers to automatically detect, align and track objects in the real world. Object Anchors can track single objects or instances of them, without the need for manual setup or alignment. Before this service, developers would need to either place anchors manually or use QR codes for detection of way points.
Developers building mixed-reality apps for the manufacturing, retail, health and gaming industries can use Azure Object Anchors to simplify training development, guide employees step-by-step in learning tasks, and use existing 3D models of objects in your physical space to leverage Object Anchors to locate and track instances of that object in a given environment, from counting to tracking to picking and packing.