Microsoft Corp. on Friday began to take pre-orders for the Kinect for Windows v2 motion sensor. The device is initially intended only for software developers who plan to take advantage of the Xbox One’s motion sensing capabilities on the PC. The software giant plans to start sales of the Kinect for Windows v2 to general public later this year.
As reported, the Kinect for Windows v2 device features 1920*1080 RGB camera, improved infrared time-of-flight sensor, refined voice controls and USB 3.0 connection. The device resembles the motion sensor for the Xbox One video game console, but it naturally does not carry any Xbox logos and may have some other differences.
The Kinect for Windows v2 can detect a finger movement within nanoseconds and can process up to 2Gb/s of data to read its environment. Microsoft hopes that improved accuracy and fidelity of the sensor as well as better microphones will help the Kinect for Windows v2 to change the way people interact with personal computers.
Starting this week, Microsoft is taking pre-orders for the v2 sensor from software developers who wish to create interactive voice and gesture-based applications. Sensors purchased during the pre-order phase will be shipped in July, at which time Microsoft will also release a public beta of its software development kit (SDK) for the Kinect for Windows v2.
The price of the new sensors seem to be rather high: £159 in the U.K., €199 in Eurozone and $199 in the U.S. The reasons why Microsoft charges so lot for a sensor that costs $75 (£45, €55) to manufacture, according to IHS iSuppli, are unclear. Perhaps, Microsoft wants to minimize demand from enthusiasts and ensure that there are enough devices for actual software developers. On the other hand, the original Kinect for Windows is not really affordable either.
Microsoft claims that commercial version of the Kinect for Windows v2 will ship “a few months” after software makers receive their pre-ordered sensors in July. Apparently, the company still wants to begin sales of the new sensor for Windows this calendar year.
It is unclear how much will the Kinect for Windows v2 cost in retail. The original Kinect for Windows is priced at £199/€249/$249, so if Microsoft lowers the price of the v2, this will positively affect popularity of the gadget.
Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.
KitGuru Says: There are two problems with the original Kinect for Windows: it is expensive and it brings no real benefits since there are not a lot of programs that support the sensors. Microsoft needs to drop the price of the v2 device and provide incentives to software makers who plan to take advantage of the v2 sensor. Otherwise, the Kinect for Windows v2 will share the destiny of its predecessor.