Microsoft is allowing a limited number of buyers to purchase its new Kinect for Windows v2 Sensor—the company has added a listing for the device in the Microsoft Store. The sensor is priced at $199 and the listing makes it clear that Microsoft is expecting those that take the company up on the offer will be developers, not game players (though there is nothing preventing regular Joe's from buying it too). It also notes that the sensor comes with four microphones and two visual sensors, but doesn't explain how the device will actually connect with a computer.
The v2, as its name implies is the second iteration of the sensor (the first was released in 2012) that allows computers running Windows to run Kinect applications (originally it was only possible on Xbox consoles). This past March, Microsoft posted images of the new censor on one of its websites, along with pictures of a hub and power supply—readers noted it looked very much like the sensor for Xbox devices, which indicates Microsoft is attempting to create uniformity with its sensor line. The company also launched a Kinect for Windows v2 developer program last summer, hoping of course, to drum up interest with companies interested in developing applications specifically for Windows based Kinect devices. Those that took advantage of the offer received an alpha version of the sensor and a version of the SDK along with a no-cost upgrade guarantee for both once they were released.
Those that preorder the new sensor will also get a beta version of the new SDK, along with a promise of updates in the future. Microsoft is expected to offer the sensor to the general public sometime this summer (perhaps as early as next month). Unlike Kinect applications for the Xbox, new applications created for the sensor can be made available for sale on the Microsoft Store, opening up a whole new revenue stream for developers. The company claims that it has seen very high demand from developers for the sensor and SDK, and thus expects to see a plethora of applications ready for sale when the sensor does finally go on sale to customers.
Explore further: Microsoft to release a free SDK for Kinect this spring