Microsoft's hugely successful Kinect controller has been tweaked to work with Windows computers. Called Kinect for Windows PC, the controller uses a camera to recognise gestures as inputs, while an in built microphone responds to spoken cues.
The Windows dedicated Kinect controller has benefitted from some custom enhancements, including a larger in depth sensor that is capable of recognising objects within 40 centimetres. By comparison, the Xbox Kinect controller requires gamers to be within a 1.2-3.5 metre range.
Other improvements include more receptive speech recognition and software optimised for tracking skeletons. Up to four Xbox Kinect sensors can be plugged into a single computer, and they will be compatible with the latest versions of Windows only, including the current Windows 7 and the upcoming Windows 8.
The complimentary SDK is currently ready for developers who can begin endowing professional applications with a new way to interact with software. It's one of the first steps towards a more immersive computing experience, bridging the gap between organic motion and the virtual binary system.
Currently Kinect for Windows PC is shipping to stores according to its product manager, Craig Eisler, who made the announcement via the company's official blog. In the US, it will cost US$250â€”a US$100 more than its Xbox counterpartâ€”but the company claims qualified educational institutions will benefit from a $100 discount.
In Australia, the Kinect for Windows PC camera will be $50 more despite the Aussie dollar sitting above parity, at a pricey $300.