Microsoft has begun dispatching its latest Kinect senser to PC developers.
The Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview kits are being sent to thousands of developers who signed up for the $399 programme.
The kit includes a pre-release Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and access to a new version of the Kinect for Windows SDK, as well as ongoing updates and access to private program forums.
Developers will also receive the final Kinect for Windows v2 sensor when it becomes available in summer 2014.
The new Kinect for Windows v2 sensor will contain the core capabilities of the new Kinect for Xbox One sensor. These features include a dramatically expanded field of view for greater line of sight, a greater level of gesture tracking for more precise control and more advanced voice recognition technology.
The first versions of Kinect for Xbox 360 and Windows have seen the motion tracking and heat sensor used in all kinds of ways by developers and businesses, such as the medical industry and educational institutions.
Accompanying its announcement about the kits, the firm said: “Microsoft is committed to making the Kinect for Windows sensor and SDK available early to qualifying developers and designers so they can prepare to have their new-generation applications ready in time for general availability next summer. We continue to see a groundswell for Kinect for Windows.
“Microsoft believes that the opportunities for revolutionising computing experiences will be even greater with this new sensor. The benefits will raise the bar and accelerate the development of NUI applications across multiple industries, from retail and manufacturing to healthcare, education, communications and more.”
The firm that produced Kinect’s original motion sensing technology, PrimeSense, was recently acquired by Apple.