Kinect for Windows consists of the Kinect for Windows hardware and Kinect for Windows SDK, which supports applications built with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. The newly release Kinect for Windows SDK version 1 offers improved skeletal tracking, enhanced speech recognition, modified API, and the ability to support up to four Kinect for Windows sensors plugged into one computer.
New in the 2012 SDK Release:
- Commercial Ready:
Installer makes it easy to install Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
- Raw Sensor Streams:
Enables the depth sensor to see objects as close as 40 centimeters and also communicates more information about depth values outside the range than was previously available. There is also improved synchronization between color and depth, mapping depth to color, and a full frame API.
- Skeletal Tracking:
Provides more accuracy and skeletal tracking now enables control over which user is being tracked by the sensor.
- Advanced Speech and Audio Capabilities:
Provide the latest Microsoft Speech components and an updated English Language Pack for improved language recognition accuracy. In addition, the appropriate runtime components are now automatically installed with the runtime installer exe.
- API Improvements:
Enhances consistency and ease of development. New developers should have a much easier time learning how to develop with Kinect for Windows, and all developers will be more productive.
Commercial Kinect for Windows Sensor:
The newly released Kinect for Windows hardware is optimized for use with computers and devices running Windows 7, Windows 8 developer preview (desktop applications only), and Windows Embedded-based devices. Some of the changes to the hardware include:
- Near Mode:
Enables the camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation out to 3 meters.
- Shortening USB cable and small cable:
Ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and improves coexistence with other USB peripherals.
- Support and software update:
The Kinect for Windows hardware includes a one-year warranty, support, and access to software updates for both speech and human tracking.
- Hardware Requirements:
- 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
- Dual-core 2.66 GHz or faster processor
- Dedicated USB 2.0 bus
- 2 GB RAM
- OS Requirements:
Requires Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Standard 7
The Kinect for Windows SDK beta can only be used with the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware. Applications built with this hardware and software are for non-commercial development only. To accommodate existing non-commercial deployments using the SDK beta and the Kinect for Xbox 360 hardware, the beta license is being extended to June 16, 2016. Developers are encouraged to download the Kinect for Windows SDK, which was released February 1, 2012. This SDK provides additional features and updates.