Microsoft won’t give up on Kinect for Windows; next iteration coming 2014

At Tuesday’s reveal of the Xbox One, Microsoft showed off their next generation Kinect sensor. Our friends up in Redmond don’t want you to forget that the new Kinect unit will also be heading to Windows.

Microsoft released the original software development kit (SDK) in the spring of 2011 for Windows 7. The goal of the program was to expand Kinect’s usage scenario through 3rd party and indie developers. That being said, we have seen some amazing uses of Kinect in the fields of consumer shopping and medicine.

Reflexion Health, a medical software company, had teamed up with the United States Navy Medical Center to advance physical therapy with Kinect for Windows. Dr. Ravi, co-founder of Reflexion, had stated that:

“Kinect for Windows helps motivate patients to do physical therapy—and the data set we gather when they use the RMT is becoming valuable to demonstrate what form of therapy is most effective, what types of patients react better to what type of therapy, and how to best deliver that therapy. Those questions have vexed people for a long time.”

The new generation of Kinect features a higher fidelity 1080p HD camera, an expanded view of field, improved skeletal tracking, and active infrared capabilities. The new unit is a step forward not only for gamers, but those in the medical field who see Kinect as a way to motivate and help analyze patient conditions.

It was announced at the Xbox One Reveal event that the new Kinect sensor has the added ability to track a person’s distribution of weight, exerted force on individual limbs, and heartbeat all in real time. The future of modern medicine might be here and it just might be Kinect.

The new SDK will most likely be shown off at the upcoming BUILD 2013 event in San Francisco, so stay tuned.

What non-gaming scenarios would you like to see Kinect being used in? 

Sources: Reflexion Health Case Study, Kinect for Windows Blog, The Fire House

Michael Archambault