Much like its predecessor, the Xbox One's Kinect peripheral will soon make its way to Windows. Months after its announcement, the product is now available for pre-order in the Microsoft Store, where users can purchase it for $200 and expect it to ship July 15.
Kinect for Windows v2 is almost identical to its console counterpart. The device is a sophisticated camera, microphone and motion sensor that can recognize individual users and parse minute gestures. The Xbox One uses the Kinect to control navigation, media and video games, but on Windows, the device is more of a productivity tool.
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If the $200 price tag seems steep (an Xbox One with a Kinect costs $500, whereas one without costs $400), developers should note that the software is free. By default, the Kinect works with the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit 2.0, which includes a license for noncommercial use.
That said, developers cannot use the Kinect SDK to make for-profit software just yet. Microsoft has not yet made a commercial license available, and selling programs developed with it is a breach of the Terms of Service. However, Microsoft does plan to sell a commercial license later this year.
This time around, programmers will also be able to sell their Kinect apps in the Windows 8 store. Expect Microsoft to reveal more details about this once it makes a commercial license available.
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