Microsoft today opened pre-orders for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. You can grab the device now for $199 from the Microsoft Store.

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor is available in 22 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. Pricing varies as follows: AUD 199, EUR 199, CAD 199, CNY 1,456, DKK 1.549, HKD 1,544, JPY 19,953 (coming soon), MXN 2,688, NZD 246, NOK 1.696, SGD 265, SEK 1.725, CHF 179, GBP 159, and USD 199.

Microsoft promises that developers who take advantage of the pre-order option will be able to start building apps using Kinect for Windows ahead of the general public. This is because sensors purchased during the pre-order phase will be arrive in July, along with a public beta of the software development kit (SDK).

The company wouldn’t say when to expect general availability of the sensors and the SDK, but it did say the July arrivals will be “a few months ahead.” Microsoft previously held a Developer Preview program (those who participated will also get the sensor in July), for which it is still receiving requests “from all around the world.”

The company says “thousands” of developers were unable to participate, so the pre-order option should address the demand ahead of general availability, at least in part. “Bear in mind, however, that we have limited quantities of pre-order sensors, so order while supplies last,” Microsoft warned.

The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor features the core capabilities of the new Kinect for Xbox One sensor, including an ultra wide-angle 1080p HD depth camera. The device captures RGB color video at around 30 frames per second and can even monitor the user’s heart rate.

Here is how the company breaks down the improvements:

  • Real Vision: Kinect Real Vision technology dramatically expands its field of view for greater line of sight. An all-new active IR camera enables it to see in the dark. And by using advanced three-dimensional geometry, it can even tell if you’re standing off balance.
  • Real Motion: Kinect Real Motion technology tracks even the slightest gestures. So a simple squeeze of your hand results in precise control over an application, whether you’re standing up or sitting down.
  • Real Voice: Kinect Real Voice technology focuses on the sounds that matter. Thanks to an all-new multi-microphone array, the advanced noise isolation capability lets the sensor know who to listen to, even in a crowded space.

The expected release for the new sensor has been “next summer” ever since it was announced. While we still don’t have an exact date, at least those interested know they can get it next month.

See also – Microsoft updates Kinect for Windows SDK with background removal, color capture, other new APIs and samples and Microsoft releases three videos showing off how Kinect for Windows can work for retailers

Top Image Credit: Microsoft