It has always been possible to hook up a Kinect sensor to PC and use it for other tasks as well but it wasn’t always this easy. Microsoft is making some changes related to the Kinect sensor. It has kept its promise of exposing depth, RGB, and infrared data from the sensor for third-party universal Windows apps and it has also launched a new driver for Windows 10 which makes it easy to use Kinect as a webcam.
The new driver enables the average user to easily use the Kinect as a webcam. It was always possible to do this but it involved some complicated steps. Now, it’s as easy as launching Device Manager on a Windows 10 PC and finding the driver under the “Kinect sensor devices” folder.
Once it’s up and running, the Kinect sensor can be used to make video calls, it can also be configured to perform biometric authentication for Windows Hello through face recognition. It will work like just any other webcam once the driver has been installed.
Microsoft also made some improvements to Kinect for developers with the Xbox Summer Update released in July. Apps that use the sensor’s RGB, infrared, and/or depth cameras will be able to run on the Xbox with same code while the console can also use the Kinect RGB camera as a normal webcam for “Skype-like scenarios.”