X-Box's Kinect will be available on PC

At Microsoft’s BUILD conference for software and web developers that’s currently underway at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco, it was revealed that Kinect for Windows, a beefed-up version of the Kinect sensor that shipped with the Xbox One and an SDK (Software Development Kit) will be available “this summer” to both consumers and developers. reports that the new Kinect will have a 1080p sensor, improved gesture recognition and better skeletal tracking, and the SDK will allow anyone who can and who wants to, to create applications for it.

Of course “this summer” in American means “Winter” here in SA at the earliest, and of course no price was mentioned. Microsoft’s local PR team didn’t have any locally-relevant information to add to the announcement, however, so we’re not even sure whether Kinect for Windows will get to SA at the same time as, or shortly after the US version ships. Should we hear anything more about it, we’ll let you know.

Having a Kinect sensor connected to a Windows PC opens up a lot of possibilities for developers, who can integrate motion-sensing functionality and all kinds of biometric data into their applications. The Kinect that launched alongside the Xbox One featured some pretty powerful hardware, so if the Windows version is even better, developers will have a lot of power to work with. Since they’re quite a clever bunch, developers, it shouldn’t be long before someone brings something truly surprising to the Windows Store that uses motion-sensing/biometric-reading technology in a cool new way.

Perhaps even more important than the sensor itself, is the news that Microsoft will allow developers to “self-publish” their Kinect applications to the Windows Store, meaning there won’t be a long, drawn-out vetting process before apps are published, something that should encourage developers to get on board, and fast.

Of course, the news means you’ll have to shell out for a Kinect for your PC, too, and that could be a hard sell unless someone comes up with a “killer app” for it that you won’t want to live without. With Kinect’s track record so far of not inspiring a huge list of best-selling games – the very things it was invented for - that’s quite a tall order.

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