Microsoft’s new multi-spectral camera patent could show up on Surface Neo and Duo


15, 2019

Earlier this year, Microsoft introduced the Surface Neo and Duo to the world. Both the new offerings from Microsoft will still take a year to hit the market because the hardware still isn’t finalized. While people celebrated the launch of dual-screen devices from Microsoft, many eagle-eyed netizens were quick to spot the missing camera from the prototype.

The prototype had holes in the design for the camera but the company hasn’t finalized the camera for both the devices. Now the latest patent from Microsoft could give us an insight into the cameras that might end up on Surface Duo and Neo. The patent (via Windows Latest) titled  ‘OBJECT RECOGNITION USING DEPTH AND MULTI-SPECTRAL CAMERA’ was filed back in May and was published on 12th December.

A camera is configured to output a test depth+multi-spectral image including a plurality of pixels. Each pixel corresponds to one of the plurality of sensors of a sensor array of the camera and includes at least a depth value and a spectral value for each spectral light sub-band of a plurality of spectral illuminators of the camera. An object recognition machine is previously trained with a set of labeled training depth+multi-spectral images having a same structure as the test depth+multi-spectral image. The object recognition machine is configured to output a confidence value indicating a likelihood that the test depth+multi-spectral image includes a specified object.

The patent goes on to explain the working of a spectral camera that could recognize both 2D and 3D visual features of faces. Back in October, Microsoft did confirm that they are working on a world-class camera for both Duo and Neo. That said, we still don’t know how many cameras we might see on Surface Duo and Neo. Moreover, it goes without saying that patents don’t always translate into actual products.

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