According to a new blog post announcing the update, version 1.8 is the fourth update to the SDK since Microsoft first made it available commercially a year and a half ago. To date, there have been 700,000 downloads of the Kinect for Windows SDK, officials said.
New background removal. An API removes the background behind the active user so that it can be replaced with an artificial background.
A new Kinect Fusion API for more realistic color capture. This can help with full color 3D printing or creation of 3D assets for games, CAD and other apps. (Microsoft Research's Kinect Fusion technology allows for 3-D renderings of people and objects.)
Improved tracking robustness with Kinect Fusion.
The Kinect for Windows sensor looks like the Kinect for Xbox sensor. But it 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 shortened the the USB cable and included a “small dongle” to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. The Windows version also modified the Kinect depth camera to see objects that are “as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device.