Microsoft Opens Door to Kinect Apps for Windows
Microsoft sets the stage for motion-sensing Windows apps with a new software development kit and virtual shelf space in its app store.Kinect may no longer be a mandatory part of the Xbox One experience, but Microsoft still has high hopes for the motion controller. "Our Windows SDK 2.0 is now available for the Kinect v2 sensors, and developers can commercially deploy Kinect apps in the Windows Store for the first time," announced Alex Kipman, a technical fellow in the Microsoft's Operating Systems Group, in an Oct. 22 blog post. Microsoft began shipping Kinect v2 sensors for Windows, along with a preview of the software development kit (SDK), in June. Owners of the Xbox One version of the Kinect who don't want to fork over $200 for a Windows-compatible sensor now have another option. "We are introducing a $49.99 (USD) adapter kit that enables you to take the Kinect for Xbox One you already own and attach it to Windows PCs and tablets," said Kipman. The USB 3.0 adapter links Xbox One Kinects to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 systems. Purchasing the adapter and an Xbox One version of the Kinect costs the same as a Kinect v2 for Windows. The Kinect Adapter for Windows is available now "in over two dozen countries and regions." The device will roll out to a total of 41 regions in the coming weeks, he added.
Apart from different connectors and a few cosmetic changes, both versions are essentially the same device. "With the adapter, all Kinect v2 sensors—Kinect for Windows v2 and Kinect for Xbox One—perform identically," he asserted.