The Xbox One has certainly caused a stir, when the launch event hit the public domain in the last week. Microsoft have also announced a next generation version of their Kinect for Windows sensor.
The device is built around the same technologies as the Xbox One’s new Kinect sensor. The new Kinect for Windows sensor however and the matching software development kit (SDK) are aimed more at businesses and organisations than individual consumers.
The updated Kinect for Windows sensor will offer a range of improvements over its predecessor. There is now a 1080p colour camera which replaces the original VGA sensor. This will help the device track precise motion and details, even down to the turn of a wrist or wrinkles in clothing. Microsoft spoke about the new ‘time of flight’ technology that measures the time it will take individual photons to bounce of an object or person.
The new device will have a noise isolating multi microphone array and Microsoft say it can filter out ambient noises to enable it to understand commands which are spoken in a natural voice, even in crowded rooms.
Microsoft have also added new infrared capabilities which mean the device can work in any lighting conditions, even in complete darkness. The IR camera is said to be able to detect blood flow behind the skin – which may mean possible health related adoption within the industry.
The new sensor can track up to six skeletons at the same time, rather than the dual limitation of the current device. It can track more points on the body as well, down to the tips of the hands and thumbs. Microsoft say it will be ideal for fitness applications and to be used in specific retail environments.
The unit can also handle a field of view much closer to the sensor, rather than a couple of meters distance which the current version suppotrs.
Kitguru says: The new Kinect for Windows sensor capabilities will be shown at BUILD 2013 in June, although the release date is not set until some time in 2014.