November 7, 2011
Kinect coming to Windows
One year after its release Microsoft has announced that the Kinect, previously exclusive the Xbox 360, will be coming to the Windows platform. Unfortunately for those still rockin XP and Vista the Kinect for Windows will only be available for Windows 7 and those who have the Windows 8 dev preview. It is of course possible that Kinect will later be available for older OS’s but as of right now the Kinect for Windows SDK 2 is only available for Windows 7 and the Windows 8 dev preview, and I wouldnt count it being available for much more than that upon its release. While it was only a matter of time before this happened, devs hacking the Kinect to work in a Windows environment has likely shown that there is in fact interest in this and helped push it along. The SDK is in its beta phase and information and a free download at http://kinectforwindows.org/ .
A couple of key features of Kinect for Windows is its use of multi-core support making it around 20% faster in windows allowing for faster and more accurate skeletal and joint tracking/recognition. The user will also have the ability to plug the Kinect for Windows in and out of the PC without losing their current work. The Kinect for Windows also likely allow the user to use it for more than just games and will actually have more of a productive role allowing a user the alternate input method of gesture control. (i.e. swiping, pointing, pinching motions)
As of yet there is no set release date but is expected to release early 2012.