Microsoft Ships Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview Kits
Why should Xbox One users have all the fun? Microsoft has started to ship new kits with the new Kinect to select Windows developers before it goes on sale next summer.Microsoft's splashy Xbox One launch overshadowed news that could have a potentially huge impact on the company's efforts to mainstream gesture-based computing. The company announced on Fri. Nov. 22, the same date that the Xbox One hit store shelves in select territories, that it had begun shipping Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits. The kit includes a pre-release version of the new Kinect sensor, essentially the same upgraded motion controller hardware that is bundled with the Xbox One. Participants of the program are also entitled to the final version of Kinect for Windows v2 sensor when it goes on sale next summer. "Thousands of developers," have been selected for the program, according to Microsoft. Microsoft has high hopes for the new Kinect. Its predecessor became a hit with the hacker community soon after it was released. Featuring low-cost, relatively feature-rich sensor technology from Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense, which Apple just acquired for $350 million, it spawned several projects, including self-navigating robots and 3D scanners. The company provided 3D scanning support with the release of the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 1.7 March 18.
In October, Microsoft Research Asia showcased Kinect Sign Language Translator. The project, still in its early stages, translates sign language into speech, and vice versa. "There are more than 20 million people in China who are hard of hearing, and an estimated 360 million such people around the world, so this project has immense potential to generate positive social impact worldwide," Guobin Wu, research program manager for Microsoft Research Asia, said in a blog post.