Microsoft: New Kinect Hardware For Windows Coming In Early 2012

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Microsoft today announced that its preparing a new Kinect hardware specially designed to connect with PC’ and its coming in early 2012. This is a great news for the PC world which expands the possibilities. Here is the announcement from Kinect for Windows Blog,

Since announcing a few weeks ago that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch in early 2012, we’ve been asked whether there will also be new Kinect hardware especially for Windows. The answer is yes; building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, we have optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios. Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for.

Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters. “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360. This is one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program and folks commenting on our forums, and we’re pleased to deliver this, and more, at launch.

Apart from new hardware, Microsoft is also readying commercial license for Kinect which will allow developers to sell commercial applications based on Kinect for Windows SDK. Microsoft also detailed the new Kinect Startup accelerator program which was announced last week. More details on it here.

You can read more about it here.

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