Kinect for Windows features
Technology should intuitively understand us. It should work for us, not the other way around.
To this end, Kinect for Windows is helping transform how people interact with computers by giving businesses and developers the tools to create innovative solutions that enable users to communicate naturally with computers simply by gesturing or speaking.
Visit our gallery to see examples of how businesses are using Kinect for Windows >
Kinect for Windows sensor
The Kinect for Windows sensor is a physical device that, when used with a computer and the accompanying Kinect for Windows software developer kit, provides companies and developers with the foundation they need to create interactive applications that recognize peoples’ natural movements, gestures, and voice commands.
Comparing Kinect sensors
The Kinect for Windows sensor shares many of the core capabilities of the Kinect for Xbox 360 sensor, including:
- An RGB camera that stores three-channel data in a 1280 x 960 resolution at 12 frames per second, or a 640 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second. This makes capturing a color image or video possible.
- An infrared (IR) emitter and an IR depth sensor. The emitter emits infrared light beams and the depth sensor reads the IR beams reflected back to the sensor. The reflected beams are converted into depth information measuring the distance between an object and the sensor. This makes capturing a depth image possible.
- A multi-array microphone that contains four microphones for capturing sound. Because there are four microphones, it is possible to record audio from a specific direction, as well as find the location of the sound source and the direction of the audio wave.
- A three-axis accelerometer configured for a 2G range, where G is the acceleration due to gravity. It is possible to use the accelerometer to determine the current orientation of the sensor.
Additionally, the Kinect for Windows sensor is optimized for use with computers and devices running Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Embedded-based devices. The Kinect for Windows sensor also includes Near Mode, which enables the sensor’s camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the sensor without losing accuracy or precision, with smooth degradation out to 3 meters.
Support and software updates
The Kinect for Windows sensor includes a one-year warranty, support, and access to software updates for both speech and human tracking.
Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK)
The Kinect for Windows SDK and toolkit contain drivers, tools, APIs, device interfaces, and code samples to simplify development of applications for commercial deployment. We frequently update the SDK, adding improvements for more control and deeper access to sensor data; new tools, such as Kinect Fusion; and samples, such as best-in-class user interfaces, to feed the creativity and needs of our customers.
The Kinect for Windows SDK has a deep understanding of human characteristics, including skeletal and facial tracking, and gesture recognition. Voice recognition adds an additional dimension of human comprehension, and Kinect Fusion captures the color of the scene along with the depth during a scan and then reconstructs data into printable three-dimensional (3D) models. A new Kinect Fusion algorithm also makes it easier to scan a scene by recovering the camera position from any previously scanned point. The Kinect for Windows SDK also has a new adaptive user interface sample that can detect a user's height. Developers can use the feature to adapt optional touch-points to the appropriate height for the user.
Doing more with data
The Kinect for Windows SDK exposes an array of sensor data and provides developers with effective tools to optimize their use of that data: developers can access extended depth data and the sensor’s IR emitter, and can control the custom color camera settings. Kinect Studio, a record and playback tool, enables developers to optimize the controls for a fine-tuned application. A new background removal API allows developers to remove backgrounds and replace them with a customized version, similar to a green-screen effect. A new multiple-sensor Kinect Fusion sample supports fixed sensor-scanning scenarios, enabling kiosks to scan users without the assistance of an attendant.
The Kinect for Windows SDK supports up to four sensors on one computer, and can be used on any virtual machine whose native operating system supports running Windows. This flexibility allows businesses and developers the freedom to implement what works best for their application requirements. The latest version of the SDK includes an HTML interaction sample that can extend the Kinect for Windows sensor to web browsers. Developers can also use OpenCV and MATLAB samples to build advanced Kinect for Windows applications by using standard libraries.