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New Kinect hardware for Windows confirmed

Posted: 28 Nov 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Kinect  Windows  Xbox 360 

Microsoft is building new Kinect hardware especially for Windows, confirmed Craig Eisler, general manager, Kinect for Windows in a blog post. A few weeks ago, Microsoft released the Kinect for Windows SDK and announced that the Windows-supported motion-sensing gaming console will be launched in early 2012.

Eisler said, "Building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, we have optimised certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios."

"Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for."

Some of the changes include "shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals," he stated. "Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeter in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeter. 'Near Mode' will enable a whole new class of 'close up' applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360."

Recently, Microsoft also launched a Kinect Accelerator incubation project that will give 10 tech-oriented companies using Kinect (on either Windows or Xbox360) an investment of Rs.8.97 lakh ($20,000 )each.

Eisler commented, "As part of Microsoft's deep commitment to NUI (natural user interface), we designed the Kinect for Windows commercial programme to give licensed customers access to ongoing updates in both speech and human tracking, in addition to providing fully supported Kinect hardware for Windows."

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