Microsoft launches its first AI-powered webcam for the Surface Hub 2 and Surface Hub 2S

nanoguy

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In brief: Like it or not, we now live in the era of hybrid work and teams need to stay connected using the best possible tools. For businesses who are deeply invested in the Microsoft ecosystem, the Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera is a no-brainer that will upgrade their videoconferencing experience.

Microsoft today launched a new webcam that's designed for the hybrid workplace and works well with the company's Surface Hub 2 and its slimmer and lighter brother, the Surface Hub 2S.

The new Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera sounds like a mouthful, but the Redmond giant says it's a great upgrade to the Surface Hub's camera capabilities. The whole idea behind Microsoft's first AI-powered webcam is to ensure that all participants in a conference room can be seen and heard properly, so the upgraded hardware has a wider field of view and supports things like image correction and automatic reframing to keep everyone in view and focus.

Steven Batiche, corporate vice president of Windows and Devices, explained that the "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. 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 and a lens with a 136-degree field of view. This is accompanied by a custom chipset with 1 teraflop of compute power, which is running an algorithm that compensates for tilt, distortions, and makes wide-angle corrections in real-time so that people and objects appear true-to-life, regardless of whether they are 40 centimeters or eight meters away.

The Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera is a decidedly enterprise-oriented product, as it costs $799.99 when sold on its own. For reference, Dell's UltraSharp 4K webcam is $187.99, and even the Opal C1 "DSLR" webcam for Mac aficionados doesn't go north of $300.

Microsoft will also bundle its new webcam with the 85-inch Surface Hub 2S starting on May 31, which will look like a steal for businesses at $21,999.99.

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