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Microsoft Input Devices Windows Technology

Microsoft Releases Kinect For Windows 130

nk497 writes "Microsoft has released Kinect for Windows, featuring a new "near mode" that lets the gesture control tech be used as close as 40cm. The Kinect for Windows hardware will retail at $249 — well above the price of the version for Xbox 360 consoles. Microsoft defended the price difference, saying sales of games and Xbox Live subscriptions help subsidize the console version. The new version will support Windows 7 and the Windows 8 developer preview, as well as Windows Embedded 7 devices."
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Microsoft Releases Kinect For Windows

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  • by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:24PM (#38895431)
    The cheapest 2D LIDAR you're going to find is about $2000 (Hokuyo URG [acroname.com]). It has pretty terrible range for a LIDAR, but it's still a good sensor. For 3D ranging you're going to spend at least a grand. The IFM O3D 2XX is the cheapest 3D Flash LIDAR I know of, and you're only getting 64x48 pixels of resolution, so essentially 1% of the pixels you're getting back from the Kinect for 10x the price. Given this, the Kinect is truely an amazing sensor.
  • Re:fuck off (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:26PM (#38895459)
    How about that reading comprehension. The console version is cheaper due to Xbox live subs, and the PC version has no Xbox live to support the cost. Im still calling bullshit on the price but call it in the correct manner, otherwise you make us sound worse than the retards who willingly buy this crap.
  • Nothing To Do Yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:28PM (#38895487)

    "... Microsoft has already confirmed that the Kinect will ... not even run on Windows PCs that aren't also running the developer's kit and using the device otherwise may actually void the warranty."

    http://news.consumerreports.org/electronics/2012/01/ces-2012-kinect-for-windows-doesnt-mean-youll-be-playing-games-on-your-pc.html [consumerreports.org]

    So if you are not a developer, save your money.

  • Re:New Drivers? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:36PM (#38895565)
    According to Microsoft [msdn.com]:
    • Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
    • Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
    • Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
    • Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
    • The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
    • Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
    • New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
    • A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
    • Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes
  • by kingcool1432 ( 993113 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:37PM (#38895605)
    Also, from the article: "Although you will be able to download the SDK and use it with an existing Kinect for Xbox 360 for your own, personal development purposes <snip>"

    Sounds good enough for hobbyists.
  • by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:51PM (#38895793)

    Then there's the other 3rd party companies who ALSO beat them to market, and with cheaper products. Microsoft's innovation is staggering.

    Where are the sub $140 RGBD sensors that beat Kinect to market?

    So wait, its more expensive? And there's going to be less games that use it. (see: none) Few if any will buy it, so nobody will waste time developing AAA games that use it, so nobody will buy it, so nobody will develop for it...

    This isn't just about games anymore. This isn't even just about desktop PCs. We're talking about the ability to build customized solutions using Kinect sensors for commercial sale and educational applications.

    So without mainstream games, who is this supposed to appeal to?

    Companies looking to commercialize and educational institutions, as evidenced by the commercial license and educational pricing.

    So without mainstream games, who is this supposed to appeal to? The very hackers who already got it working, because they wanted it? Whoops.

    People who don't want to go through the hassle of hacking it. It's relatively easy if you have the know how. But in many ways it's a pain in the ass. Nothing is easier than plugging it into windows and clicking "install" and having access to everything. Plus, the Windows SDK has access to much more advanced features you don't get with the hacked versions, including access to Windows speech recognition engine (which is very good) as well as bangarang skeletal tracking with a few lines of code. With the hacked API, you get sensor streams and that's it. You have to leverage several different architectures in order to get the functionality the Windows SDK provides. Microsoft is offering a better learning curve and that is worth something.

    But if that is the case, why not just add that software capability to Windows?!

    Windows 7 can already handle voice commands. Search for "Speech recognition" in the start menu.

    The rest of your post is just blind nerd-rage.

  • Re:Nothing To Do Yet (Score:3, Informative)

    by GodInHell ( 258915 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:54PM (#38895839) Homepage
    Since the developer's kit is free . . . what's the issue? [read TFA]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:27PM (#38896995)

    You're forgetting about competing products from Primesense ( the guys Microsoft licensed the Kinect technology from ). Primesense has teamed up with Asus for some products as well.

    I'm amazed at how many people think Microsoft developed Kinect. To me it looks like the only thing they did was come up with a name for their version. The Kinect looks identical to the reference design from Primesense.

    I wonder if their Kinect patent filing was all about.. a weapon to use to bully primesense - that would be classic microsoft.
    If any patent pro's are out there I'd be interested to hear an opinion on the kinect patent's novelty... or is it purely designed for courtroom posturing?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:35PM (#38897075)

    oops.. I posted above accidentally.

    short version: Don't forget competing products also based on the Primesense technology.


    They didn't even buy the company that did!

    check out www.Primesense.com or search for primesense on the kinect wikipedia page ( before someone rewrites history that is.. ).

  • by cbhacking ( 979169 ) <been_out_cruisin ... NO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:12PM (#38897985) Homepage Journal

    The up/down is for people who are different hights, or for games which are better played sitting/kneeling vs. standing. I don't know, maybe everybody who uses your kinect are all the same hight and always use it from the same position, but for the rest of us that motor is pretty important.

    The spacing on the visual sensors doesn't require such a wide sensor bar, but the spacing on the microphones (for effective direction-sensing and noise-cancelation) does. People always focus on the optical portion of the sensor, and ignore the highly-focused microphones (possible because they're harder to see).

  • Re:Nothing To Do Yet (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @06:19AM (#38901095)

    Yet from a post that listed Microsoft's official blurb a bit further up:

    "A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an applicationâ(TM)s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments."

    I think I'll trust the official release notes thanks.

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