Microsoft’s second Kinect for Windows sensor is arriving on July 15th for $199, and it’s aiming to take things even further away from gaming. While Kinect’s early usage was boosted by the Xbox 360, developers haven’t enthusiastically supported Kinect on the Xbox platform ever since. Instead, Kinect has become extremely popular with Windows developers. The latest Kinect for Windows sensor takes the same form as the Xbox One’s version and it’s practically the same. Compared to the previous version, it now features a higher fidelity sensor with a 1080p camera, a larger field of view, and better skeletal tracking.
Developers have been calling out for reduced latency and improved finger tracking, and Microsoft has largely answered those requests with Kinect for Windows v2. The original Kinect has been used across a number of interactive art installations, hospitals, and even to control a four-story pipe organ. These impressive applications were merely possibilities in Microsoft’s original Kinect for Windows vision ad, and yet the latest sensor will open the door to many more uses. Whether it’s tracking the minute movements of fingers and toes, or simply improving the accuracy and response of existing use cases, the experimentation and creative applications of Kinect for Windows v2 are likely to exceed Microsoft’s expectations once again. Here's a reminder of some of the many Kinect hacks that have impressed over the past few years.
The V Motion Contoller uses Kinect as a tool to control and visualize live music. Stunning visuals mix with dubstep to produce the classic wub-wub-wub sound like you've never seen it before.
Surgeons have started using Kinect in hospitals to analyze CAT scans in sterile operation rooms.
Microsoft's Kinect Effect commercial imagined many examples of what Kinect can do today.