Microsoft has announced a developer program for the next generation Kinect for Windows under which developers will get priority access to the new version of the Kinect sensor for developing PC applications. The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB 3.0 port.
However, the company clarified that the Kinect sensor that comes with the Xbox One entertainment console won’t be compatible with Windows as it uses a proprietary connector that you won’t be able to plugin to a PC. While the Kinect sensor for Xbox 360 comes with an adapter that features a USB 2.0 connector, Microsoft told Ars Technica that the Kinect for Xbox One sensor will not have an adaptor that allows it to plug into a computer.
It also added that Xbox One and Windows versions of the next generation Kinect are based “on a shared set of technologies” and both will offer features like 1080p video, an active IR mode, and a wider field of view compared to the first version of Kinect.
The program for the next generation Kinect for Windows will start in November and developers will need to pay $399 to get access to the hardware as soon as it’s available. Microsoft intends to make the sensor available to the general public in 2014.
Kinect made its debut as a motion-sensing input device by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game console and Windows PCs. It’s a webcam-style add-on peripheral that enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 or the PC through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands, eliminating the need of a traditional input device.
Kinect for Windows harnesses the power of Microsoft’s Natural User Interface that lets developers and businesses build applications with new-age interfaces. Developers can take advantage of features like improved skeletal tracking, face tracking, enhanced speech, seated mode tracking.
After extending a non-commercial development kit for Kinect for Windows in 2011, Microsoft had announced support for the Windows version of Kinect in Jaunuary 2012, making it available in May. The Kinect SDK for Windows was launched in India in August.