Microsoft to launch Kinect for Windows sensor in 2014

The new Kinect for Windows sensor will use the same technologies found in the sensor for the Xbox One.

Microsoft's Kinect sensor.
Microsoft's Kinect sensor in action. Microsoft

Microsoft will finally deliver a Kinect sensor for Windows sometime next year.

The company announced Thursday that the Kinect for Windows sensor will use the same set of technologies key to the new Kinect sensor for the Xbox One, both of which will allow people to issue commands using voice and gestures.

The sensor will include a high-definition color camera and a noise-isolating multi-microphone array. Also part of the system will be a technology called Time-of-Flight, which measures how long it takes for photons to bounce off a person or object. Combined, these features promise greater accuracy and precision in detecting your movements and voice commands.

Like its Xbox One counterpart, the Kinect for Windows sensor will be able to pinpoint more parts of the body, opening up more accurate skeletal tracking. The sensor will also use a greater field of view to handle a variety of room sizes. A new infrared feature will help the sensor "see" better, especially in darker conditions.

The launch of the Kinect for Windows sensor and the corresponding software development kit means that developers will be able to create apps that take advantage of the features.

"We're continuing our commitment to equipping businesses and organizations with the latest natural technology from Microsoft so that they, in turn, can develop and deploy innovative touch-free applications for their businesses and customers," Microsoft said in a blog post Thursday. "A new Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) are core to that commitment."

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