What's coming in Microsoft's Kinect for Windows 1.5

What's coming in Microsoft's Kinect for Windows 1.5

Summary: Microsoft plans to release the 1.5 version of its Kinect for Windows software in late May 2012.


Microsoft is readying a 1.5 release of its Kinect for Windows product for late May that will add a new app for developers to help them debug their products based on recorded user interactions.

That's according to a March 26 post on the Microsoft "Kinect for Windows" blog from Craig Eisler, the general manager of the product.

Eisler said the 1.5 release will add a new app called Kinect Studio "that will allow developers to record, playback and debug clips of users engaging with their applications." The 1.5 release also will feature "seated," or "10-joint" skeletal tracking, which will add the ability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user that will work in both default and near mode.

The 1.5 update will add four new languages for speech recognition – French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese -- as well as language packs to enable speech recognition for languages spoken differently in different regions (like English/British English).

Eisler said Kinect for Windows will be launching in 19 more countries in May and June, including Hong Kong, South Korea,  Taiwan, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

Microsoft made the 1.0 release of Kinect for Windows software and sensor available in early February 2012. The Kinect for Windows sensor looks like the Kinect for Xbox sensor, but is designed to work at closer range and to work with Windows 7/8 PCs. In addition to making firmware adjustments in the new Windows Kinect sensor, Microsoft has shortened the the USB cable and is including of a “small dongle” to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. The Windows version will modify the Kinect depth camera to see objects that are “as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device” without sacrificing accuracy or precision.

The Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) and runtime are available under a commercial license, as well as a hobbyist license.

Speaking of Kinect (on the Xbox side of the Empire), Microsoft made available on March 27 Kinect-enabled Comcast Xfinity, HBO Go and MLB TV apps on its Xbox Live service.

Topics: Windows, Emerging Tech, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • without a Linux SDK

    kinect is DOA. Only FOSS can help move units off the shelves.
    The Linux Geek
    • LOL All the way to the bank...

      about the only thing DOA here is well you.
  • Moving Units

    @The XXXXX Geek: According to Wikipedia, Kinect holds the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device," selling 8 million units in 60 days, and 18 million by Jan. 2012. I guess customers don't desire FOSS as badly as you would like to believe.
    • The fact tht a good number of tose were bought specifically

      By individuals to hack doesn't help your cause. There were several versions of Linux/Unix/Mac OS X drivers within the first week should give you a clue is to who bought them
      Jumpin Jack Flash
      • Kidding, right?

        One device is enough for a team of linux heads to create drivers.
        So you think the majority of 8 million units were hackers?
        I almost feel sorry for you over that logic.
    • All records are broken eventually

      Actually, the following conjecture means absolutely nothing to me but the new iPad sold 3 million units in the first three days of availability. What do you think the odds are that Apple will sell six million more iPads in the next 57 days?
      • Not likey. Yet it appear that it does mean something to you

        as you felt the need to post on it.
        in reference to WebSiteManager, I understand his statement.

        Have we not repetedly been informed by the many Apple fans of how many iPads were moved in a certain amount of days? So then, why can not WebSiteManager inform others of the sales figures for Kinect?
        Tim Cook
      • How can I state the following logically, respectfully and diplomatically

        FOSS, Kinect sale records and iPad weekend sale totals have absolutely nothing to do with MJF's blog article content.

        I only mentioned the iPad sale figures as a gentle reminder to WebSiteManager that there are better arguments that could have been evoked to counter Linux Geek's unsubstantiated opinions. (Initial sales figures do not imply continued similar sale figure growth rates.)

        Admittedly my unstated advice was too subtle for you to grasp and if you couldn't get it than other ZDNet Talkback readers might not as well. And for that I apologize.
      • I read into your statement, but it still must be said....

        That the new ipad does hold a record. For the fastest disappearing battery life.
        On another Apple note, my wife was delusional enough to think she could buy me an itouch and I would like it. She got me a 32 GB itouch 4g (4th gen.) and I've never witnessed a device that drains it's battery over night, while in standby, w/o there being a short. But after sending first one back and she ordering another, it was identical in battery problems (not to mention I could not browse and get content of my choice). That is starting with it completely, fully charged (not a "surface" charge" ) and every morning the unit was completely dead.
        The "fix" was to turn on Airplane mode or turn off wireless, the same thing really. But who wants to pay good money for a device that supposedly so great when the battery needs charged every morning and then multiple times per day. Truely, the 4g itouch cannot play an entire feature length film w/o needing recharged. Playing 20 min. or games empties around half of the battery.
        I cannot for the life of me see why the ratings ans sales are so high on such a thing.
        And further the interface is so dated. If MS knew how to market and not pick the wrong ad agencies (Crispin Porter MS, really!!???!) the metro layout would blow it away. The "icon based" UI has run it's course, come on. The itouch/iphone/ipad interface looks like a modern/higher res. version of Windows 3.1.
  • I've alway wanted to know...

    ... what would happen if you were to put it in front of the TV meteorologists?

    Mihi Nomen Est
    • Great idea...

      That would be a cool app idea. Someone design a Weather App that pulls info from "wherever it pulls from" and the Meteorologist is able to freely manipulate live on air. Wow! that be really amazing.
  • I've seen it... kind of...

    Recently I was at a Microsoft Developer Day conference, and all sorts of tech was covered, including the NUI experience of Kinect.

    Amongst the many demos using Kinect, one was a weather demo. It was a quick hack so wasn't full featured but it would show the cloud cover and other minor details of an area when a hand hovered around a specific region. It would however make for a cool experience for the weather guys if they decided to dig in and find out more about what's going on with a storm or something.
  • Non developer presentation software for Kinect already available

    You can already start using Kinect for your presentations with So touch Air Presenter, very cool piece of software and I guess that is just beginning.

    Website (free trial for download): http://www.so-touch.com/air-presenter
    YouTube Playlist (explains the gestures): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL5798C00B1B70A868)

    Keep up the innovation!
  • Hi there

    I would like to introduce a new company in Argentina that develop Kinect for Windows applications and games. It is Bin Motion:


    And we have our first game called Tic Tac Toe Move. Check this out:

    Federico Elinger