Wave at Your PC: Kinect for Windows Now Available

As Steve Ballmer promised in January, Microsoft has released version 1.0 of the Kinect for the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK).

Improvements since the Beta 2 version, which was released in November 2011, include support for up to four Kinect sensors on one computer, improved skeletal tracking and speech recognition accuracy, as well as numerous API updates, stability, runtime and audio fixes.

Also of note is the Near Mode that enables the depth camera to see objects very close (40 cm) in front of the device.

Kinect for Windows Hardware is now available in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Japan, New Zealand and Mexico.

The suggested retail price of Kinect for Windows hardware is $249, but Microsoft promises special academic pricing of $149 for qualified educational users later this year.

Now that everything is set from Microsoft’s side, all that’s missing are the apps. We’ll see if Kinect for Windows lures developers to create some good ones in the coming months.

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