Microsoft could release its own external webcams next year, with one aimed at extending Windows Hello facial recognition to all Windows 10 PCs.
Windows watcher Paul Thurrott reports that Microsoft is making the new 4K cameras for Windows 10 PCs and its gaming console Xbox One.
The camera targeted to Windows 10 will for the first time bring facial recognition to all Windows 10 PCs. Presently Windows Hello facial recognition is restricted to the built-in webcams like the ones on Microsoft's Surface devices. The webcam, which could be named under the Surface brand, would also return a Kinect-like feature to the Xbox One, allowing users to authenticate by putting their face in front of the camera.
Microsoft's planned webcams are said to be linked to the USB-C webcams that it has previously said could ship with the forthcoming Surface Hub 2, which features a USB-C port. The Surface Hub 2 is also due out in 2019.
Surface boss Panos Panay suggested Microsoft could release a USB-C webcam soon in an interview with The Verge in October, hinting that a camera could be used to extend an experience beyond its own Surface devices.
"Look at the camera on Surface Hub 2, note it's a USB-C-based camera, and the idea that we can bring a high fidelity camera to an experience, you can probably guess that's going to happen," said Panay.
The Windows Hello-compatible webcams will arrive as Microsoft advances its push for password-less sign in with Windows Hello at the core. With the release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft enabled WebAuthn-based authentication, which paves the way for signing into its sites like Office 365 with Windows Hello and security keys.
PREVIOUS AND RELATED COVERAGE
After Windows 10's buggy patches, Microsoft talks up its 'high-quality' fixes
Microsoft promises its software updates will improve next year.
For the fourth month in a row, Microsoft patches Windows zero-day used in the wild
Microsoft also fixes 38 other security bugs, 9 of which are rated "Critical."
Is Windows 10 still telling Microsoft what you're doing even if you don't want it to?
Microsoft baffles Windows 10 users by apparently collecting data about recently opened websites and apps when users have opted against sharing that information.
Windows 10: Microsoft pulls patch that gives Surface Book 2 Blue Screen of Death
Having first blocked it for Surface Book 2 users, Microsoft now removes buggy patch completely.
Windows 10 blue screen: Microsoft blocks buggy 1803 update to Surface Book 2s
The buggy update was your choice to install, Microsoft tells owners of its $3,000 flagship Surface device.
Windows 10 BSOD: Pricey Surface Book 2s bricked by latest 1803 update
Sleuthing Surface Book 2 owners figure out Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update is to blame for Blue Screen of Death woes.
Microsoft lifts Windows 10 1809 block after Apple fixes iCloud for Windows
Microsoft unblocks the Windows 10 October 2018 Update for one group, but several other blocks remain in place.