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Kinect for Windows: Update 1.5 Released

Microsoft today updated to version 1.5 of the Kinect for Windows runtime and SDK, and made Kinect for Windows hardware additionally available in Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. The company says that additional countries will be added in June, which include Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The current price of Kinect for Windows is $249 .

The updated release adds several capabilities intended to help developers use the Kinect sensor in new and intriguing ways.




Kinect Studio, which allows developers to record and play back Kinect data, dramatically shortening and simplifying the development lifecycle of a Kinect application. Now a developer writing a Kinect for Windows application can record clips of users in the application’s target environment and then replay those clips at a later time for testing and further development.

The Face Tracking SDK, which provides a real-time 3D mesh of facial features—tracking the head position, location of eyebrows, shape of the mouth, etc.

Seated Skeletal Tracking, meanwhile, "tracks a 10-joint head/shoulders/arms skeleton, ignoring the leg and hip joints." It's not restricted to seating positions, which Microsoft said will allow developers to create seating-optimized apps (such as office work with productivity software or interacting with 3D data) or standing apps that only focus on the upper body (such as interacting with a kiosk or when navigating through MRI data in an operating room).

New capabilities to enable avatar animation scenarios, which makes it easier for developers to build applications that control a 3D avatar, such as Kinect Sports. 

Skeletal Tracking is supported in Near Mode, including both Default and Seated tracking modes, which allows businesses and developers to create applications that track skeletal movement at closer proximity, like when the end user is sitting at a desk or needs to stand close to an interactive display.

Microsoft has improved the performance and data quality enhancements, to improve the experience of all Kinect for Windows applications using the RGB camera or needing RGB and depth data to be mapped together (like Green screen applications).

Finally, Microsoft has also updated guidelines for natural user interface development, and significant additions to sample code and SDK documentation and added new language support for speech recognition: French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. There are also new language packs that help distinguish the way a language is spoken in different regions.

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Comments

lrwonline said…
Great developments in Kinect apps. Kinect for Windows is still a great customizable system after all these years!

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