Kinect is coming to the PC, not as a hack but as a commercial product with dedicated PC hardware, in early 2012, according to the Kinect for Windows Blog. Some of the changes for the PC version include: a shorter USB cable and new firmware for ‘close up’ applications. You can download the SDK now.
Kinect offers PC users (and developers) some unique capabilities that change the way people interact with their computers, including:
- Skeletal tracking
- Motion sensing
- Voice recognition
- Facial recognition
For example, Calum Cawley, a fourth-year engineering student at IT Sligo and part of the Microsoft Imagine Cup winning team, is using Kinect in his final year project. He’s tracking the movement of actors on the stage and projecting virtual costumes onto them. See different ways people are using Kinect.
There’s also the BizSpark Kinect Accelerator incubation programme, which will give 10 tech-oriented companies using Kinect (on either Windows or Xbox360) an investment of $20,000 each and other benefits. Applications are being accepted now through January 25th, 2012. (Applicants must be prepared to relocate to Seattle, Washington for the duration of the program. It rains just as much there as it does here in the UK so you’ll be fine!)