Microsoft to upgrade Kinect for Windows

28 Mar 2012

Microsoft will release version 1.5 of Kinect for Windows, which will recognise speech from languages spoken in different regions, including English in Ireland, offer a Kinect Studio app and will include 10-joint skeletal tracking.

The Kinect motion sensor was initially released for the Xbox 360 as a full-body controller for video games. People began to use the device for research purposes and new interfaces of PCs. Microsoft saw its potential, initially releasing it for PCs for researchers only and then made the hardware available to consumers with Windows PCs.

Along with bringing Kinect for Windows to 19 other countries, Microsoft plans to release version 1.5 as an update for the end of May.  It will include Kinect Studio, an application which lets developers record, play and debug clips of users interacting with their applications with the Kinect.

It will also come with 10-joint skeletal tracking, offer the ability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user. This will work both in both the default subject distance from the sensor and ‘Near Mode’ which reduces this distance to 40cm.

The 1.5 release will recognise four new languages for voice control, including French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese.

It will also release new language packs to recognise how a language is spoken in different regions, which includes English in Ireland, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It will also recognise how French is spoken in France and Canada and how Spanish is spoken in Spain and Mexico.