Microsoft’s latest camera has a lot of smarts

By Tom Warren@tomwarren

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Microsoft is launching its first AI-powered camera for the Surface Hub 2. Businesses that have bought fully into Microsoft’s future-of-work vision with the Surface Hub will now be able to upgrade its camera capabilities. The new Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera supports automatic reframing, a wide field of view, and image correction features that will all improve meetings.

Microsoft’s first AI-powered smart camera launches for the Surface Hub 2

“Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera reframes, adjusts lighting, and enables incredibly wide angles of view, all without any warping, distortions, or depth-of-field issues that might otherwise limit what is visible,” explains Steven Bathiche, corporate vice president of Windows and devices at Microsoft. “The team put tremendous work into tuning the experience to capture and frame what is occurring in the room while being smooth and natural for remote viewers or participants.”

The camera has a 12-megapixel sensor, with a 136-degree field of view and 1 teraflop of compute power (far more than the original Xbox 360). Microsoft is using this power in combination with an algorithm it has developed that automatically compensates for distortions, tilt, and wide-angle corrections to ensure objects stay true to life. This allows the Smart Camera to detect everyone in a room and ensure they’re visible during meetings.

The Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera attaches to the top of a Surface Hub 2 with a magnetic click and a USB-C mount. It’s designed for the Surface Hub 2 and will be sold separately at $799.99 starting today or combined with the 85-inch Surface Hub 2S on May 31st for $21,999.99. That may seem like a high price to pay for what looks like a webcam, but if it’s as smart as Microsoft promises, it might be a worthwhile upgrade for businesses that have spent $9,000 or $22,000 on Surface Hub 2 devices.

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