Microsoft Kinect for Windows Gets Windows 8 Support, Improved Sensor Access

Microsoft Improves Kinect for Windows, Brings Improved Sensor Access

by Anton Shilov
10/09/2012 | 08:54 PM

Microsoft Corp. this week rolled-out its new version of Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK). The new version of SDK brings support for Windows 8 operating system and virtual machines, improved developer tools as well as extended sensor data access.


Kinect for Windows is slightly different than the Kinect for Xbox 360 in terms of hardware and software. 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. 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.

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.

From now on, the Kinect for Windows SDK brings extended sensor data access, in particular:

In addition, Microsoft said that Kinect Studio has been updated to support all new sensor data features and skeletal tracking is now supported on multiple sensors within a single application.