Microsoft working on a PC-specific Kinect
Date added: 24 Nov 2011
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The Redmond company is betting it all in its motion-sensing device as it tries to port it over to desktop computers. And its team is certainly putting its best to adapt the gadget to the requests of both users and developers.
Not long ago, Microsoft announced the release of a Kinect SDK for commercial applications , that will be made available early next year. With the launch of such tools, the Redmond company would be looking to spread Kinect’s capabilities to as many technological fields as possible.
But apparently the company doesn’t want to leave it there, which would be the reason for it to be working on a new Kinect hardware as well, one that will prepare it specifically for computer integration.
“Kinect for Windows – Building the future”
The title of the most recent post in the Kinect for Windows Blog might seem a little cocky but there’s some truth to it. If the new Kinect is indeed capable of what it promises, then you can surely bet that the future lies on motion-sensing devices, with Microsoft gadget leading the way.
But, what promises are that, you ask? Well, Kinect for Windows is being built after Microsoft was swarmed with requests from customers and developers alike. So, it most definitely have to respond to PC users’ needs. That’s why the company is working in a “Near mode”, a much needed adjustment that has to be applied before porting the device over to computers.
Such mode will help in reducing the room and distance needed to interact with the device. In other words, Xbox 360’s Kinect need for a spacey room will be replaced for a more limited distance request between the PC gadget and the user.
In this sense, the minimum distance of 1.8 meters required for the Xbox version will be reduced to 40 centimeters, the average distance between the computer screen and the person sitting in front of it. One of the most requested features for the upcoming Kinect, “Near mode” will “enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360”, in Microsoft own words.
Reducing the needed distance to interact with the device isn’t the only new feature to be found on the Kinect for Windows. There are other physical adjustments that have to be performed for a better integration with the computer’s environment. That’s why Microsoft is also working on a shorter USB cable as well as in “a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals.”
Finally, the Redmond giant is promising full support for developers working with the Kinect SDK. And that is certainly a guarantee worth keeping since it can encourage startup companies to use the Kinect technologies for their products, a process that could ensure Microsoft’s privilege position among the leading businesses in the technological world.
The future shows a lot of potential for the development of new channels to interact with our devices, and Microsoft is surely holding both a gold mine and a revolution in its hands. Hopefully, the company will get it right.
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