MICROSOFT IS SHIPPING "thousands" of Kinect for Windows v2 sensors to interested developers and has released a preview of the Kinect for Windows software developer kit SDK.
The firm has apparently had a solid response to the Kinect for Windows v2 sensors, and while it said it is sending out thousands today, it is still working to fill all orders.
Supporting the sensors, which can be used to track body movements on systems other than the Xbox One and Xbox 360, is the release of a free Kinect for Windows SDK, which like the sensors is in its second incarnation.
"The SDK is free of cost and there are no fees for runtime licenses of commercial applications developed with the SDK," says a blog post from the Kinect team in Redmond.
"We will be releasing a final version of the SDK 2.0 in a few months, but with so many of you eagerly awaiting access, we wanted to make the SDK available as early as possible. For those of you who were unable to take part in our developer preview [programme], now you can roll up your sleeves and start developing. And for anyone else out there who has been waiting-well, the wait is over."
The updated Kinect sensor has improvements, including software and camera upgrades that have boosted skeletal tracking up to 25 positions, an increase of five against the 20 points covered in the first version. Also improving the quality of the experience, and its results, are a HD 1080p video camera and greater depth fidelity. Face tracking has also been improved, and when combined these features should improve on-screen visualisations.
Microsoft expects these improvements and the free SDK to drive development, and it invited developers to bring their wares to its applications store, once it has released a final version.
It said, "When the final version of the SDK is available, people will be able to start submitting their apps to the Windows Store, and companies will be able to make their v2 solutions available commercially." µ