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Kinect has changed the way people play games and experience entertainment. Now, Kinect for Windows offers the potential to transform how people interact with computers and Windows-embedded devices in multiple industries, including education, healthcare, retail, transportation, and beyond.
The release of the Kinect for Windows sensor and software development kit (SDK) for commercial applications opens up the limitless possibilities offered by Kinect technology. Together, the hardware and software offer a superior development platform for Windows and a higher quality, better performing experience for end users. (Note: The sensor unit does not ship with any software, and will only operate with an application developed for Kinect for Windows. In addition, the Kinect for Windows sensor is intended to be used with the Kinect for Windows SDK or an application that was developed with this SDK. The SDK includes drivers, APIs, sample code and more. )
Depends on application
Pros: Better hardware than xbox kinect
Other Thoughts: Set this up on my HTPC to control Windows 7 media center. It worked, however not to my satisfaction. In fact, im pretty sure a hacked xbox 360 one would have been better.
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Pros: Very fast ram.. Recommend
Cons: No cons
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If you have the money...
Pros: Easy to install, works with the few SDK samples available. The Xbox 360 Kinect also works with the SDK samples so long as you have the powered USB adapter with the slim version Xbox sensor it works fine. A Microsoft Kinect Sensor Power Supply is $35 at the MS Store but knock offs are much less buyer beware of damaging your sensor. I did not try the older models sensors but they too are supposed to work. Mid 2012 MS is supposed to begin disabling the game Kinect Sensors from working with the Windows SDK (and probably the OpenKinect stuff as well) So then you will have to buy this one or an older game sensor without Near Mode.
Cons: A bit expensive for the only addition to the standard sensor "Near Mode" that currently appears to only gives you one large point between your chest and head. Hand tracking or upper body tracking not implemented yet. In the future I am sure more sophisticated tracking will be added (or I have just not found it yet) You can do everything in the current SDK samples with the much cheaper XBox 360 sensor until mid year when MS will no longer allow them to work with Windows. Also there are conflicting installation instructions. What worked for me: Uninstall all old Kinect and speech drivers then install the SDK version 1 which includes everything all (samples drivers and all) in one install. Then all works well.
Other Thoughts: The few crude examples are not too much to get excited about. There appears to be much more powerful abilities when using the OpenKinect software (openkinect.org) and other hackers who have published their work. google "Teaching Kinect to recognize objects" or "Kinect 3D Scanning" to see more advanced uses of the Kinect device. Warning don't programatically move the sensor's ElevationAngle very often or for any length of time, you can burn the motor out in the Kinect. It draws some hefty current.
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“Easy to install, works with the few SDK samples available. The Xbox 360 Kinect also works with the SDK samples so long as ...”— Lab Monkey 2/18/2012
“Price— Clarkware 7/24/2012
Sluggish with 7MC setup
Not that many useful apps available, at least for what I needed.”