Microsoft begins Kinect for Windows v2 shipments, SDK preview released

As promised, Microsoft has started shipments of the Kinect for Windows v2 hardware and it also released a public preview of its SDK so developers can get to work making applications for the motion gesture and voice capture-based device.

The sensor, based on the one that was made for the Xbox One console, contains a number of improvements compared to the original Kinect for Windows device, including improved skeletal tracking, better depth fidelity,a bigger field of view and more.

The new 2.0 version of the Kinect for Windows SDK includes better skeletal, hand, and joint orientation, improvements in face tracking and lots more. Microsoft plans to release the final version of the SDK in the next few months and when that happens developers will be able to submit their Kinect apps to the Windows Store for publication.

What do you think about Microsoft's launch of Kinect for Windows v2?

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John Callaham
  • Great work
  • Too bad they don't support Kinect for Xbox One and make any games for it.
  • Yah, very frustrating. Kinect Sports Rivals shoudl've been a launch game and bundled in a la Wii Sports. Some type of Kinect Party game also should've been released by now. On the third-party front, they did a godo job getting Dance Central Spotlight and Fantasia: Music Evolved, but they should've secured a few more Kinect games, such as a sequel to Child of Eden. If they had done all of that between E3 2013 and 2014, Kinect would be bumping right now. Our best hope now is that ID(at)Xbox gets extended to Windows 8 too, and then indie developers make some cool indie Kinect games for Xbox on Windows 8 and Xbox One, such as the upcoming Fru (except like 10 of those games per year rather than 1).
  • The beauty of the Kinect is that it doesn't need proprietary games to be great. I loved saying PAUSE to Tomb Raider to pause it and saying SHOTGUN to equip the shotgun. Same as saying Timeout in 2k.
  • Nice!
  • USB adapter for Xbox one version? Not double paying for this. Or maybe a wireless option so someone can actually use it in a home theater?
  • Methinks you need to do some research, perhaps you can develop this functionality?
  • @mediacastleX.....there is stacks of stuff all over the web about this.  The connector on the Kinect for X1 is a proprietary modded USB3.0.  There are also weird power and line requirements on the Kinect V2 units that have made it impossible for 3rd party developers to get it to work.
  • This.  MS need to pay attention to the Kinect issues for home theatre users.  There are legions of people across the web who have been calling for an extension cord for the Kinect V2 and there is nothing available, officially or unofficially.  Because of this it makes a kinect based system next to useless in large scale home theatre systems.  It's the only reason why I have not yet bought an Xbox One.  A 3 foot cable is useless for most HT applications that utilize projectors.  You can't own the living room if don't pay attention to such an important segment of the market.....
  • Or other commercial applications... Err whatever segment Kinect for Windows targets... Does it always have to be 5 ft from a PC? Sounds rather tethered.
  • Maybe it's not as easy as providing an extension cable. Maybe they're worried an extension cable will introduce latency which will muck up performance.
  • Sounds like design issues 101
  • Sounds like hardware limitations to me, not design issues. Longer distance for signals to travel = inreased latency. Just a hunch. I really have no idea what I'm talking about.
  • So frekkin' sweet!!!
  • What is this project about Wndows v2?
  • Read the article
  • Kinect v2. Or longer "Kinect for Windows" v2.
  • I'm surprised as you that they're bringing Kinect out for Windows 2. It was the first version of Windows I ever used and it is rather primitive. I doubt there's much of a market, but I suppose MS knows best...
  • So genuine question: whatre you supposed to do with this? What compelling apps and games for PC are there that rely on Kinect?
  • Not even the modern UI can be used with Kinect gestures, and no Cortana either(officially speaking of course) 3rd party apps don't cut it, I would buy it in a heartbeat if I could use my HDTV as a giant surface tablet with this
  • To be honest, I can't think of much that will benefit from Kinect in Windows 2. Bit of a surprise return to its roots for MS.
  • Lots of cool stuff came from Kinect Windows development: real-time sign language translation, the ability to turn any wall or surface into a 'touch screen' projector, etc. Kinect is really quite awesome, and will be amazing if the developers keep innovating with it.
  • Kinect has been widely used in the area of education, physical therapy, 3D scaning and gesture control applications.  Recently I saw a interesting Microsoft Research demo of its use for the Digital Whiteboard.  The improved Depth Sensing and higher resolutions make it even more useful.
  • I just want Skype to track and zoom in Windows like it does with Skype for Xbox One.
  • i would buy it for that feature alone, lol
  • I've always said that Kinect is bigger than just Xbox. I own both a Xbox One and 360 both with Kinect. I love the voice controls, gestures and the games that support it. Especially, small things like recording game clips by just saying, "Xbox record that." As for the power of Kinect I feel it shines well beyond the likes of videogames which are restricted in their use of the technology. Developers either have much money, time ir are attempting a multiplatform launch, thus deciding what truly is important for their game. As for MS, yes they could do better at showcasing the complete, true power of Kinect with some 1st parry games, but the developer public who has access to these new Kinect SKUs are the ones to watch. Games are cool, but what some of these people are developing is truly amazing and where the technology will shine. Give me a Kinect strapped or built into the frame of my front door, so when I walk up to my house it'll unlock. Maybe open the garage door, by facial recognition. Know that I'm in the house and turn the AC on, real.automation based off of facial technology. Open doors like its Target or something. I'm ready for that.