Microsoft Kills Off Kinect for Windows v2
Don't panic, says Microsoft. Developers can still snag the stand-alone Xbox One version for their motion-sensing projects.The Windows-specific version of the Kinect sensor is being put out to pasture, but it's not necessarily a bad thing for the company's plans to popularize gesture-based computing. Microsoft has stopped producing Kinect for Windows v2 hardware, the PC edition of the Xbox One's 3D motion-sensing peripheral, the company said in an April 2 announcement. The move follows the company's earlier announcement that it is phasing out the original Kinect for Windows sensor, based on the popular Xbox 360 add-on, this year. The company started selling Kinect for Windows v2 on July 15, 2014, to help spur the development of natural interface apps using the upgraded hardware. Compared with its predecessor, it features a full HD (1080p) camera, an expanded field of view and more potent processing capabilities for improved skeleton tracking, which translates into higher-fidelity motion capture and more accurate on-screen results. Apart from some minor cosmetic alterations and the use of different connectors, the Xbox One and Windows versions of the device are functionally identical. In October 2014, the company released a $49.99 USB 3.0 adapter kit that allows owners of the Kinect for Xbox One to connect it to their PCs, a decision that ultimately rendered the Windows version redundant.
"In an effort to simplify and create consistency for developers, we are focusing on that experience and, starting today, we will no longer be producing Kinect for Windows v2 sensors," said Microsoft's Michael Fry, senior technology evangelist for Kinect for Windows, in a statement.