For Kinect Developers, a Single Sensor to Rule Them All

Posted on April 2, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 0 Comments

For Kinect Developers, a Single Sensor to Rule Them All

Microsoft is no longer making its Kinect sensor for Windows. But don’t view that as a retreat of some kind. Instead, a recently-released Kinect Adapter will allows developers (and eventually users) to use the Xbox One Kinect sensor with Windows 8 and newer PCs. So they’re really just consolidating around a single version of the sensor.

“Over the past several months, we have seen unprecedented demand from the developer community for Kinect sensors and have experienced difficulty keeping up with requests in some markets,” senior technology evangelist for Kinect for Windows Michael Fry writes in a new post to the Kinect for Windows blog. “At the same time, we have seen the developer community respond positively to being able to use the Kinect for Xbox One sensor for Kinect for Windows app development, and we are happy to report that Kinect for Xbox One sensors and Kinect Adapter for Windows units are now readily available in most markets.”

So. Microsoft is no longer producing Kinect for Windows v2 sensors.

This makes complete sense. Indeed, I never understood why Microsoft bothered to make different versions of Kinect for Windows and Xbox. (Indeed, the original v1 Kinect sensor for Windows was actually an improvement over the original Kinect for Xbox 360, so in effect we’re on the third generation sensor now. Kinect for Xbox One and Kinect for Windows v2 sensors are functionally identical.)

If you do wish to use Kinect for Xbox One ($170) with a Windows 8- or 8.1-based PC, you just need the Kinect Adapter for Windows, which costs about $45. As you can see, this adapter provides both power and USB connectivity in addition to the Kinect connection (which is not shown).


“Microsoft remains committed to Kinect as a development platform on both Xbox and Windows,” Fry clarifies, given the possibility of people misinterpreting this move. “So while we are no longer producing the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, we want to assure developers who are currently using it that our support for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor remains unchanged and that they can continue to use their sensor.”

Developers can find the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 on the Microsoft Download Center.

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