Microsoft Corp. has officially released commercial version of its Kinect software development kit (SDK) for Windows. The tools allow application developers to create programs that run under Windows and utilize motion sensor. In addition, Microsoft started to sell Kinect for Windows hardware device.
The final commercial version of Kinect for Windows SDK includes a number of improvements. Microsoft added support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer, improved skeletal tracking (developers can control which user is being tracked by the sensor), increased speech recognition accuracy and others.
The Kinect sensor features an RGB camera, a depth sensor, audio sensors, and motion-sensing technology that tracks 48 points of movement on the human body. Kinect can perform full-motion tracking of the human body at 30 frames per second. The depth sensor of Kinect for Xbox 360 supports 640x480 resolution.
Kinect for Windows is slightly different than the Kinect for Xbox 360 in terms of hardware and software. Microsoft claims that it had optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios. Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a range of PCs and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. Of particular interest is Near Mode which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision. “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.
The suggested retail price of Kinect for Windows is $249, and later this year, Microsoft will offer special academic pricing of $149 for qualified educational users.
Tags: Kinect, Windows, Xbox, Windows 8
Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 02/02/12 08:57:39 AM
Latest comment: 02/07/12 08:17:32 PM
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So let me get this straight, MS is selling pretty much the same Kinect that sells with a game for Xbox 360 for $149 or as a part of an Xbox 360 4GB bundle for $299 for $249 on the PC as a standalone item?
That's a JOKE if there ever was one
02/02/12 08:57:39 AM]
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Its definitely not a joke. Its going to be cool to see what developers can do with it on the PC. Also don't forget Microsoft is in the process of developing the second generation Kinect as well. It will have HD sensors and will be able to read lips. So yea, its only going to get way better.
02/02/12 10:19:58 AM]
I am not dismissing the long-term potential of Kinect. But why is it $100 more than the console version? As you said the next Xbox will use a 2nd generation Kinect, making this one obsolete in virtually 2 years time.
Finally, PC gamers tend to be hardcore gamers. Hardcore gamers aren't very interested in Kinect and consider it a gimmick given the current state of software/games for Kinect. Are they serious? Who is going to spend $250 on Kinect for PC when you can get an SSD, upgrade your videocard, get a larger monitor, get more games? $250 is like 5-6 games at minimum, more if you buy at Steam sale prices.
Think about this, the next generation consoles are probably going to be $399. And here MS is selling 1st generation Kinect as a standalone for $249? That's insane, especially since it's not even 1080P!
Logitech sells a 1080P camera for $99. That has the ability to also do calls in 720P. It also has Carl Zeiss lens. How much more can motion sensor technology cost $50?
I don't have to guess because Kinect costs $56 to manufacture. MS sells it with Kinect Adventures for $149.
That was in 2010, surely costs have fallen below $50 by now. And yet, MS charges another $100 premium for PC? hhahahhaa!
02/02/12 11:41:31 AM]
250$ for that crap?! HA! This must be the joke of the century!!
02/02/12 12:13:43 PM]
And some ppl wonder why its spelt M$
02/07/12 08:17:32 PM]
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