Kinect 2 official Windows support coming later this year
By Dave LeClair
April 3, 2014
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.