As promised at CES by CEO Steve Ballmer earlier in the month, Microsoft’s commercial Kinect for Windows (v1.0) SDK along with its accompanying, slightly customized hardware has just officially been launched and for a suggested MSRP of $249.99 you might be quick to scream out “Madness!” in line of the Kinect sensor for Xbox 360 being just $99 these days and the ability to freely download the Kinect for Windows SDK 1.0 software.
The thing is, the Kinect hardware used in this bundle, as mentioned earlier, has had some customizations made to it to better suit a typical PC environment. There is a feature implemented that Microsoft calls “Near Mode” which allows the camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters away while not losing accuracy and precision. Its USB cable is also said to be significantly shorter, making it more suitable for PC connectivity.
As far as the Kinect for Windows SDK version 1 software goes, it carries support for Windows applications that are built upon C++, C#, or Visual Basic (via Microsoft’s Visual Studio 2010) and features improved skeletal tracking, enhanced speech recognition, a modified API and support for up to four Kinect for Windows sensors running off the same computer.
KitGuru says: Now we’re just waiting on the apps and games. Let’s see what developers can come up with in the coming months.