Since the announcement of Kinect for Windows at the start of November, many have asked if there will be PC-specific Kinect hardware coming. Microsoft confirmed today that there will indeed be a new Kinect device for Windows PCs.
Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters. “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.
The full press release contains more details including the announcement of new support and mentoring programs for Kinect development.
Expect the new hardware in early 2012.