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Microsoft reveals Kinect for Windows v2

Microsoft has released the first details (and a rather small image) for its second Kinect for Windows device ahead of an official launch.

It’s been just over two years since the first Kinect for Windows device was released, allowing PC gamers to take part in the same controller-free, motion-controlled gameplay that Xbox 360 users could experience.

Now, Microsoft has taken the wraps off Kinect for Windows v2. As you might expect, it contains the same basic feature set as the Kinect bar that comes as standard with every Xbox One console.

As a post on the official Kinect for Windows blog shows, the sensor closely resembles the aforementioned Xbox One original, but for the Kinect branding on the top surface of the device. Also, on the front of the sensor, the Xbox ‘X’ has been replaced by a simpler power indicator.

Kinect for Windows v2 will plug into your PC via USB 3.0, and requires a hub box and a separate power supply to run.

As we saw from the Xbox One package, the second generation of Kinect is vastly improved over the original. It contains a 1080p widescreen camera (the original was VGA), which enables sharper motion capture over a wider area. It can also see users in the dark thanks to infrared technology. Input lag has also been reduced significantly.

Meanwhile, the second Kinect’s four onboard microphones help with detecting voice commands.

All of these new features should be put to even wider use on Windows PC than on the Xbox One through a number of non-gaming applications. The potential for boardroom or meeting use in particular is fairly obvious.

There’s no news on when we’ll see an official launch for Kinect for Windows v2, but the blog post does state that we are “getting closer and closer to launch.”

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