As promised earlier at CES 2012 Microsoft has released the Windows version of Kinect hardware.Kinect which has been the USP of Microsoft’s Xbox 360,even when it was only restricted for the Xbox 360 hardware,that didn’t stop the enthusiasts to hack into the Kinect and try out some innovative things.
So after a rigorous testing of the older kinect device with the Kinect for Windows beta SDK,they have finally came up with the Kinect for Windows along with the SDK 1.0 for the same are now available.At this moment the device will be made available initially in 12 countries with the retail price of $249 and as announced earlier they will also come up with the special discounted version later this year for $149 for qualified educational users.
They have made a lot of improvements from the beta SDK which was released a couple of months ago,here’s what they have achieved till now:
- Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
- Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
- Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
- Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
- The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
- Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
- New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
- A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
- Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes
Kinect hardware will support Windows 7,Windows 8 Developer Preview(only desktop apps) as well as Windows embedded devices for gesture and voice recognition.If the success of Xbox 360 is any indication,we can say that the Windows version of Kinect will further boost the sales of Windows 7 and Windows 8 based hardware.