Microsoft officially confirms that they are hard at work and have optimized hardware components of existing XBOX 360 device and already made firmware adjustments that better enable PC-centric scenarios.

Kinect for Windows SDK

Additionally numerous upgrades have been done to SDK and runtime to deliver the features and functionality that Windows developers and consumers have been asking for.

Key Improvements and changes in Kinect for Windows:

  • New firmware enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters.
  • “Near Mode” enables a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.
  • Kinect for Windows commercial program to give licensed customers access to ongoing updates in both speech and human tracking (As part of Microsoft’s deep commitment to NUI), in addition to providing fully supported Kinect hardware for Windows.

NOTE: Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch in early 2012.

Microsoft also has just launched a new initiative, the Kinect Accelerator incubation project run by Microsoft BizSpark. The Kinect Accelerator will give 10 tech-oriented companies using Kinect (on either Windows or Xbox 360) an investment of $20,000 each, plus a number of other great perks. Applications are being accepted now through January 25th, 2012. At the end of the program, each company will have an opportunity to present at an Investor Demo Day to angel investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft executives, media and industry influentials.

Source: Kinect for Windows Blog

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