Microsoft is releasing the new version of Kinect for Windows on July 15. Both the sensor and its corresponding software development kit will be available next week, according to a statement from the Redmond, Washington, tech giant.
The sensor is priced at $199 and became available for developers to preorder on June 5. The Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) will debut as a beta on same day as the sensor. The sensor will become available to the general public later this year.
The device boasts better 3D capabilities and a wider range of view than the first Kinect, and it can also capture 1080p high-definition video. Thanks to improved infrared capabilities, Kinect v2 can also see in the dark. Additionally, updated skeletal tracking means the sensor can now detect six people. (The original Kinect could only keep track of two.)
These new Kinect emphasizes the widening gap between Kinect and Xbox, after Microsoftreleased the Xbox One minus the Kinect last month. Once considered inseparable, the two are beginning to part ways in terms of function. While Xbox is continuing its focus on entertainment, Kinect is branching out into territory beyond that of interactive gaming. Some of the non-recreational functions being explored include interpreting sign language and flying military-grade helicopters.
To make the transition to the new Kinect a bit easier, Microsoft Virtual Academy is also offering a free online seminar for developers interested in learning how to build apps using the new SDK. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the day of the release.
Tags: APPS AND SOFTWARE, GADGETS, GAMING, KINECT FOR WINDOWS, Microsoft, MICROSOFT KINECT, Tech, XBOX KINECT