Microsoft is reportedly set to expand its hardware portfolio in the new year, as Thurrott claims that the company is working on multiple webcams for 2019. At least ones of the webcams is said to bring Windows Hello authentication to Windows 10, which will be the first time the feature has been included on a standalone camera. As Thurrott explains, the only cameras that have included the functionality so far are built into Surface PCs.
The webcam will also be compatible with Xbox One consoles, possibly bringing back one of the features that made the Kinect such an intriguing peripheral. With the new webcam, all you’ll have to do is walk in front of the camera to sign in, as it will have the ability to recognize your face (along with multiple other users).
While Microsoft has yet to announce any new standalone cameras, but according to the report, the webcams could be related to the USB-C webcam that will ship alongside the Surface Hub 2 line next year. In practice, there’s nothing stopping anyone from plugging the camera into any device with a USB-C port, which means that Microsoft could also opt to sell the webcam separately. Surface head Panos Panay hinted at this in an interview with The Verge:
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.
Whether Microsoft ends up breaking out the webcam as its own standalone product or not, Thurrott’s sources seem confident that the company will release its own webcams next year.