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Microsoft is building new Kinect hardware for Windows

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Microsoft has announced that it is building new Kinect hardware for Windows, expanding on their aggressive development of the peripheral outside of uses for the Xbox 360.

Kinect PC Hookup
Kinect PC Hookup

Microsoft's really blazing ahead with a new vision for its motion-sensing peripheral — just recently it announced Kinect Accelerator for startups — and now the company says it will be creating new Kinect hardware specifically for PCs. It's a move that makes sense considering that the device was originally designed for use with the Xbox 360's highly dated hardware, and the Kinect for Windows Team says that it will be optimizing certain components and developing firmware adjustments to make for better use with PCs. "Near Mode" is the most notable upgrade, which will allow the depth camera to see objects as close as fifty centimeters without losing accuracy or precision — which should also be a priority for the Xbox version, considering you still need an aircraft-hangar sized living room to play it.

There's no word yet on when the new hardware will be made available to developers, but given all of the momentum Microsoft is gathering around Kinect, we're guessing it won't be too long from now — Kinect for Windows is set for commercial launch in early 2012.