Today Microsoft released Kinect for Windows 1.5, an update to the Kinect for Windows platform that contains a set of new tools and upgrades that should spur developer interest and activity in the project. TNW wrote first about the update in March.
Most critically, Kinect for Windows 1.5 has a new tool called Kinect Studio, which allows developers to “record and play back Kinect data.” Microsoft claims that this will “dramatically [shorten] and [simplify] the development lifecycle” or Kinect applications.
Also included is an SDK to track faces, new sets of code examples, and SDK ‘documentation improvements.’ Microsoft claims, in its post announcing the new version of the code, that it has made improvements to skeletal tracking, which will not support seated users.
Microsoft today made Kinect for Windows available in four new countries: Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. In June, 15 more countries will eligible to pick up a unit: “Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.”
TNW’s take on this is, as before, that the idea of having a Kinect for your computer is awesome, provided that there is killer software to enjoy along with it. As it stands, if you snag a Kinect for Windows device, you have to code your own experience, as there is no ‘standard’ flavor available.
Thus, the only thing keeping Kinect for Windows out of normal use is code, and this release should do much to lessen that problem. Oh, and how are regulars going to get Kinect apps for their PC? My bet: the Windows Store, which is part of every future Microsoft machine.