Kinect For Windows Launching July 15

Kinect for Windows v2 (images courtesy Microsoft)

When Microsoft launched the Xbox One last year, they included an updated version of the Kinect sensor. Since then, Microsoft has released a Kinect-less version of the Xbox One. Now those who don’t have an Xbox One can pre-order the Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor from the Microsoft website for the “low” price of $199.

The Xbox One Kinect is a huge improvement over the Kinect sensor that was released with the Xbox 360.  It is more responsive to voice commands and features much more precise gesture-based control. The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor is expected to feature similar improvements over the original Kinect for Windows hardware. But before you get to excited about having Kinect on your PC, Microsoft is stating that:

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor does not ship with any software. It is intended for use with the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 (licensed separately) and will operate only with applications developed for Kinect for Windows v2. Developers can use the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 to build applications with C++, C#, VB.Net, Cx, or JavaScript.

The two big things that stand out here is that the Kinect hardware does not come with any software, and it will only be compatible with applications developed for it – you won’t be able to use it with your Xbox One or use your Xbox One Kinect on your PC.

Some of the updated features include:

  • Depth sensing – improved 3D visualization, improved ability to see smaller objects
  • 1080p HD video – improved video communications and video analytics applications
  • Wider/expanded field of view – allows for a wider area to be captured by the sensor without losing image quality
  • Improved skeletal tracking – can track up to six skeletons (compared with two in the original sensor) and 25 joints per person (compared with 20 previously)
  • New active IR – allows the sensor to see in the dark, no longer depending on lighting
  • Improved gesture and facial tracking – allows for even greater detail to be captured and translated into applications and games.

Microsoft is also allowing developers the ability to create Windows Store apps, no doubt hoping to entice more developers to create Kinect apps for Windows 8 devices.

Check out a preview of what some developers are currently working on for the new Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor.

Given Microsoft’s recent decision to remove the Kinect requirements for the Xbox One, do you think Kinect for Windows will take off?

  Source: Microsoft Store  Source: Kinect for Windows

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