Microsoft today released the final Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0, which you can download now for free directly from Microsoft.com. The launch means developers can now finalize their apps for the Kinect v2 sensors and begin to commercial deploy them.
At the same time, Microsoft today also launched the Kinect Adapter for Windows, priced at $50 (available in over two dozen countries today, and coming to a total of 41 in the “coming weeks”). The adapter enables you to use the Kinect for Xbox One with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 via a USB 3.0 port.
Earlier this month, Microsoft started selling a standalone version of Kinect for Xbox One. If you purchase that sensor along with the adapter, the final price is equivalent to buying the existing Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. Microsoft promises that with the adapter, “all Kinect v2 sensors—Kinect for Windows v2 and Kinect for Xbox One—perform identically.”
To round all this out, Microsoft has now started accepting Kinect apps in the Windows Store. Developers have been begging the company for a while now, and Redmond has finally delivered on what it calls a “frequent request.”
To show off some Windows apps featuring gesture control, body-tracking, and object recognition, Microsoft ensured some of its partners could add their work to the Windows Store early. Some of these include Kinect Evolution (a Microsoft app that shows off Kinect for Windows v2 technology), YAKiT (a character animation app from the developers at Freak n’ Genius), and 3D Builder (an app for scanning a person or object, turning it into a 3D model, and 3D printing that model).
Microsoft kicked off a hardware and software preview of the Kinect for Windows v2 in November 2013. The company then followed up with a public preview in July, promising to release a final version “in a few months.”
Since then, the company says it has made over 200 improvements and updates to the SDK, including enhancements to Visual Gesture Builder, Kinect Studio, and Kinect Fusion. Microsoft reminds us there are no fees for runtime licenses of commercial applications developed with the SDK.
Developers, start your 3D engines.