Kinect for Windows v2 Now Available for Pre-Order

Microsoft now allows devs to pre-order the second-generation Kinect for Windows sensor

Microsoft has recently announced that developers can pre-order the second-generation Kinect for Windows sensor, with the hardware to be shipped as soon as next month.

The company says on the pre-order date that the release date of the new hardware is July 15, the same day when Microsoft has also promised to roll out a beta version of the software development kit (SDK) that would allow developers to create apps with support for the new sensor.

Basically, developers can choose from C++, C#, and Visual Studio basic to “develop interactive applications that recognize people's natural movements, gestures, and voice commands,” the company said.

The new sensor is priced at $199 (€150) and comes with revised features, such as increased depth-sensing capabilities, full 1080p video, improved skeletal tracking, and enhanced infrared technology, as the company revealed in a blog post today.

“Thousands of developers wanted to take part in our Developer Preview program but were unable to do so—in fact, we’re still receiving requests from all around the world. So for these and other developers who are eager to start using the Kinect for Windows v2, the pre-order option offers access to the new sensor ahead of general availability. Bear in mind, however, that we have limited quantities of pre-order sensors, so order while supplies last,” the company also said as part of today's announcement.

Microsoft kicked off the Kinect for Windows v2 developer preview program last year and at that time, the company explained that for $399 (€293), developers can get quite a lot of benefits, including direct access to the engineering team, early SDK access, private access to all API and sample documentation, a pre-release or alpha sensor.

The company also promised to offer a final sensor at no additional cost when it's ready in the summer of 2014.

Microsoft says that all developers who are pre-ordering a sensor can create their apps before the general public, thus getting a pretty big opportunity to get their solutions ready in time for the big launch later this year.

One of the new features that the second-generation Kinect for Windows sensor is bringing is the support for Windows 8 apps, which means that developers can implement features to recognize movements and gestures right in Metro programs that will be available through the Windows Store.

This new option has already been previewed at the BUILD 2014 developer conference in April and will be part of the final version coming out next month.

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