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Kinect 2 official Windows support coming later this year


April 3, 2014

Microsoft's Kinect for Windows features some subtle differences from the Xbox One version

Microsoft's Kinect for Windows features some subtle differences from the Xbox One version

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One of the biggest features hyped by Microsoft about the Xbox One was the new Kinect. Now, Microsoft is bringing an SDK for its improved motion and voice sensor to PC with Kinect for Windows v2. This will allow developers to create Windows applications that use features offered by the Kinect.

Microsoft has pointed out some of the key functions of the new Kinect compared to the original, that will allow developers better functionality for creating apps. For example, Kinect for Windows v2 features a 1080p camera, a wider field of view for use in smaller rooms, better skeletal tracking, and all the same changes Microsoft hyped when it decided to include the new Kinect in the box with every Xbox One.

The main crux of Microsoft's announcement is the SDK that developers will be using to create apps. Of course, developers will be able to push their apps right to the Windows Store. Microsoft is also adding support for Unity, so developers who prefer to use that will be able to do so, while still taking advantage of the motion tracking of Kinect.

Microsoft did show off the hardware for the new Kinect, which will be almost identical to the Xbox One's device, with one of the only differences being the text on the top saying "Kinect." The power indicator is just a little round light instead of an "X" on the Xbox One version. Since the Kinect uses its own type of port, a hub is included that converts that to USB so it can be hooked up to a computer. Additionally, as a PC cannot power the Kinect, a power supply will also be included with the Kinect v2 for PC.

Microsoft announced that the hardware will be available soon, but it did not announce an exact date or price for the hardware for consumers.

The video below demonstrates some things that can be done with Kinect for Windows v2.

Sources: Microsoft [1], [2]

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie. All articles by Dave LeClair
1 Comment

The coolest thing I have seen connect do is probably the Follow Me robot someone did at Microsoft Robotics.

It was basically a Roomba type platform + laptop + Kinect and it can follow people around.

You could probably use the combination of Kinect + modern mobile computing to do all kinds of cool stuff with robotics. You see all these companies throwing millions at bipeds that can hardly move anywhere at all where hardly anyone is exploring more interesting concepts like building a $500 wheeled robotics platform that uses something like raspberry pi and Kinect to navigate a space intelligently and understand voice commands.

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