You usually think Xbox when you think Kinect. However, you should also be thinking PC. Microsoft launched Kinect for the Xbox 360 in late 2010. It later followed up with a version of Kinect for Windows in early 2011. A non-commercial Kinect SDK came shortly after that release of Kinect for Windows. Version 2 of Kinect came out this past fall with the launch of the Xbox One. Naturally a PC version would follow. Today, Microsoft has shared images and details on version 2 of Kinect for Windows.
Version 2 of Kinect for Windows builds off the previous work that Microsoft has done. You’re getting the same core capabilities found in the Kinect on Xbox One. Though there are a few physical differences between the two versions.
The new Kinect for Windows sensor says “Kinect” on the top panel. The Xbox Nexus has also been replaced with a generic power indicator. There’s also a dedicated hub and power supply for the Kinect on PC. The hub will tie everything together on the Windows version of Kinect. It’s where you’ll have input from the connect sensor and power supply, plus output to the PC via USB. The power supply simply gives the Kinect power to do its thing.
While Kinect on the Xbox One is primarily used for gaming and navigation, we’ve seen Kinect on Windows have far wider applications. Nine Inch Nails have used Kinect for amazing special effects, we’ve seen it in retail and more recently we’ve seen the Kinect used for border surveillance.
We can’t wait to see what developers and engineers create with version 2 of Kinect for Windows. Selected developers are already building applications using the new SDK. Kinect for Windows v2 will ship to them and others later this summer.