Microsoft To Launch Next-Gen Kinect Sensor For Windows In 2014

By Binu Paul , Updated May 24, 2013 12:30 PM EDT

Microsoft has announced that it will deliver a new Kinect sensor for Windows in 2014. Using the same set of technologies present in the recently revealed Kinect sensor for the Xbox One, the Windows sensor will allow users to issue commands using voice and gestures.

It was already known that Microsoft would update Kinect for Windows with the new sensor and a new software development kit (SDK). However, now Microsoft has officially announced the system and says the new-and-improved Kinect has a wider field of view, better depth detection, more accurate skeletal tracking, an improved noise-isolating multi-microphone, and ambient light detection.

"Both the new Kinect sensor and the new Kinect for Windows sensor are being built on a shared set of technologies. Just as the new Kinect sensor will bring opportunities for revolutionizing gaming and entertainment, the new Kinect for Windows sensor will revolutionize computing experiences. The precision and intuitive responsiveness that the new platform provides will accelerate the development of voice and gesture experiences on computers," Director of Kinect for Windows Bob Heddle writes on the MSDN Blogs.

The HD color camera and the noise-isolating multi-microphone array filters ambient sounds to recognize natural speaking voices even in crowded rooms. Microsoft's own Time-of-Flight technology measures how long it takes for photons to bounce off a person or object. "All of this means that the new sensor recognizes precise motions and details, such as slight wrist rotation, body position, and even the wrinkles in your clothes," Heddle writes.

The device will also use a greater field of view to handle a variety of room sizes and the new infrared feature will allow the new sensor to work in nearly any lighting condition.

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