Kinect for Windows 1.5 Coming in May – Switzerland now on list of markets! (via PCMag.com)
The next version of the Kinect for Windows will be available at the end of May, Microsoft announced this week.
Kinect for Windows 1.5 will add a few new features, including Kinect Studio, which will let developers record, playback, and debug clips of users engaging with their apps.
Microsoft also talked up the addition of a "seated" or "10-joint" skeletal system that will let apps track the head, neck, and arms of a Kinect user – whether they’re sitting down or standing.
"What is extra exciting to me about this functionality is that it will work in both default and near mode," Craig Eisler, general manager of Kinect for Windows, wrote in a blog post.
Eisler also promised four new languages for speech recognition – French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. On that front, Kinect for Windows will also get new language packs that take into account how a language is spoken in different regions – like American vs. British English or France vs. Canadian French.
The Kinect for Windows 1.0 SDK made its debut in early February in 12 countries. The offering is intended to take the Kinect sensor technology beyond entertainment and use it for things like healthcare.
Eisler said this week that the SDK will be released in 19 more countries in the next few months. Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan will get access in late May, while Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates will come online in June.
The current version of Kinect for Windows SDK is available for download now. Hardware is also shipping, but it will set you back $249; a $149 academic version is expected later this year.
Microsoft first discussed the Kinect for Windows commercial program in November, and the program was one of only two announcements made during Steve Ballmer’s recent (and last) CES keynote. Microsoft is already working with more than 200 partners, like United Health Group, Toyota, Telefonica, Mattel, American Express, and more, Ballmer said.