We previously reported that Kinect for Windows would be made available on February 1st, and it looks like Microsoft has kept to its promise. The company announced on its Next at Microsoft blog today the availability of the Windows version of the motion controller. In addition to the release of the new Kinect, Microsoft also released version 1.0 of the Kinect SDK, which features a host of new improvements that developers will undoubtedly find useful.
With the Kinect SDK 1.0, there is now support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer, significantly improved skeletal tracking, Near Mode which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40cm in front of the device, driver stability, runtime and audio fixes, the latest Microsoft Speech components, improved “far talk” for increased speech recognition accuracy, and more.
Kinect for Windows is available now in 12 countries with a suggested retail price of $249 and $149 for Qualified Educational Users.