Windows Hello, Microsoft's biometric logon and security feature in Windows 10 was detailed as a feature for Windows 10 in March 2015 by Joe Belfiore.
The facial recognition aspect of Windows Hello was shown off nearly every time Microsoft got on stage for demos and it always got a very positive responses.
Then the dots were connected between Windows 10 and the Intel RealSense Dev Kit for the camera hardware and suddenly we could now put Windows Hello's facial recognition to the test on our own systems.
The video demo I did last July has garnered over 147,000 views to prove that everyday users are very interested in having this whiz bang technology at their disposal. However, unless you were buying new hardware with the RealSense camera technology built in then Windows Hello facial recognition remained out of reach.
It is just shocking to realize that no third party hardware manufacturers were publicly planning to release a compatible Windows Hello camera/webcam to meet that demand.
Then at CES 2016 we heard that two companies were planning on releasing hardware to support Windows Hello and facial recognition. One was Razer's Stargazer and the other one was from MouseComputer.
Well, since then I have not heard anything about the MouseComputer offering but the Razer StarGazer is now shipping after being offered for pre-order in early September.
Those pre-orders have now been shipping for the last week or so and I had one waiting for me when I returned from Microsoft Ignite.
These images will show you the unboxing experience but the setup of the device is all hands off. Once the drivers were downloaded by the Device Manager the camera was ready to go. I quickly setup Windows Hello Facial recognition and the device logged me in right from the Lock Screen in my first test.
The USB 3.0 camera fully supports Windows Hello as expected but is also a full HD 1080p webcam with several other features:
- Ultra-high 60 frames per second capture optimized for streaming (720p max)
- Max 1080p HD video capture
- Automatic noise cancelling dual array mic
- Dynamic Background Removal
- 3D scanning
- Facial/gesture recognition
The product specifications, in other words what your PC needs to have to support this device, looks like this:
- 6th generation Intel Core processor
- PC with a free USB 3.0 port
- 8GB of free hard disk space
- DirectX 9.0
- Intel® HD graphics
- Windows® 10
- 4GB memory
- Internet connection
By the way, I am using this camera on an AMD based home built system without any issues so it would seem the Intel Core Processor is not a deal killer but I can conform that a USB 3.0 port is necessary due to the data bandwidth it needs.
In the box you will find:
- Stargazer Camera
- Eight foot braided USB 3.0 cable
- User Manual
- Razer Stickers
The camera has a built in adjustable clip to easily fit it on top of any monitor or you can use a tripod with the threaded mount.