Developers unbox next-gen Kinect 2.0 (and SDK)

Whilst gamers got their hands on their beloved Xbox One bundles last week, developers received a different type of package to play with in the form of Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits – containing everything required to get started with the improved peripheral.

The latest generation fixes complaints - notably the amount of space required - whilst adding some pretty mind-blowing additions such as the ability to see in the dark… and even read a user’s heartbeat.

Already we’ve heard of some clever scenarios developers are hoping to use this new functionality for - such as to measure a person’s current mental state. An example given is in the horror genre; a game could adapt based on fear level. When you’re at your most relaxed… we're sure you won't be for much longer.

Of course the kit extends beyond gaming, and it is in fact a pre-release sensor for Windows which is included in the bundle. Participants in the Developer Preview Program will also receive the final retail version when it is available next summer.

In a blog post on MSDN, the Redmond-based company explains their reasons: “Microsoft is committed to making the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK available early to qualifying developers and designers so they can prepare to have their new-generation applications ready in time for general availability next summer.”

The device has been well received by the majority of its users, and the last-generation showed off its potential. It is clearly a serious part of Microsoft’s ongoing strategy, and is adaptable to fit in with the “one platform” strategy being pushed to achieve in Windows 8.

In the post, Microsoft highlights some of the major improvements to key features;

Real Vision

Kinect Real Vision technology dramatically expands its field of view for greater line of sight. An all-new active IR camera enables it to see in the dark. And by using advanced three-dimensional geometry, it can even tell if you’re standing off balance.

Real Motion

Kinect Real Motion technology tracks even the slightest gestures. So a simple squeeze of your hand results in precise control over an application, whether you’re standing up or sitting down.

Real Voice

Kinect Real Voice technology focuses on the sounds that matter. Thanks to an all-new multi-microphone array, the advanced noise isolation capability lets the sensor know who to listen to, even in a crowded space.

Have you had a chance to take a look at the Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Kit?

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