Kinect for Windows V2

Well, it’s on the way! If you began to drool at the thought of being able to use the Kinect module bundled in with the Xbox One on your desktop computer, you probably won’t have much longer to wait. Microsoft recently revealed Kinect for Windows V2 and it’s an exact replica of the one paired to their games console, with a few external changes. Development kits have already been shipped to developers working on applications that use Kinect V2 and apparently people are very excited for the camera’s release.

One of Kinect V2’s capabilities that differentiates it from the original is the fully functional skeletal tracking. Kinect can now track your limb movements and interpret things like motion, force and will also be able to figure out if you meant to make a specific movement or not. The sensor in Kinect also has a wide range of abilities like infrared vision, heart rate monitoring, temperature monitoring and facial recognition so not only is it set up to be used as a controller for games, it has a wide range of industrial applications as well .

For example, currently border patrol units on the South-North Korean border are using previous-generation Kinect modules for facial recognition to assist with verification of identity. The existing Kinect also has been used for real-time remote assessments by doctors for people living in rural areas without clinics, for video conferencing facilities for people who use sign language and for augmented reality and creating giant “touch screens” on walls and other surfaces.

Kinect V2 power brick

Kinect for Windows v2 will also ship with two bricks. One is the universal power brick that operates in the 110v to 240v range and the other is for hooking up Kinect to your computer. Since it uses the same connector as the module for the Xbox One, it would be possible to salvage one that’s not being used if your regular one breaks.

The communication brick’s Kinect port is also colour-coded blue, possibly indicating that it needs a USB 3.0 port to work properly. Kinect transmits a lot of data in real-time and Microsoft’s own estimations meant that as much as 10% of the Xbox One’s compute power was set aside for Kinect’s sensor and various capabilities.

The reveal of the final pricing should be interesting because this will give us an idea of what Microsoft thinks Kinect is worth on its own. Its been a major bone of contention with cash-strapped gamers that the Xbox One sells at a much higher price than the competing Sony Playstation 4 and most people believe that the higher cost can be attributed to the Kinect camera. Some analysts believe that it contributes as much as $150 to the console’s price while others say it’s slightly below $100.

Either way, it’s going to revolutionise camera systems on the desktop and might all be part of Microsoft’s grand idea to bring camera-based gestures to future Windows versions. I’d personally just like to see how well it does as a Skype and all-round recording camera.

Source: Kinect for Windows blog

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