Call me Nostradamus – Kinect 2 or Kinect for Windows is coming

So once in a while we will get a tip and publish it on this blog and wait…. Sometimes the tips are false (it happens) but just sometimes…

In January of this year(2011), a source “Ryan” gave us a tip.

From the story then:

My source (who I will call Ryan for now) is saying that he’s pretty certain that Kinect connectivity is going to be functionality in Windows 8.

According to Ryan, the decision to support Kinect is made and at this point, the discussions are about which Operating System features and functionality to integrate it with.

Then the week after that, even more information:

From the subsequent story:

He (“Ryan”) says the following:

Microsoft are working on the sequel to the home version of Kinect which will be called the Kinect 2.

The Kinect 2 will be between 40 to 60% smaller than the current Kinect and may have a totally different sleeker design.

Well, we didn’t hear anything for almost a year and guess what Microsoft gave us today? Validation that a Kinect for Windows is coming.

From the MSDN blog:

Since announcing a few weeks ago that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch in early 2012, we’ve been asked whether there will also be new Kinect hardware especially for Windows. The answer is yes; building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, we have optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios.

Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for.

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. This is one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program and folks commenting on our forums, and we’re pleased to deliver this, and more, at launch.

My source is very close to a lot of Microsofties in Redmond. Like I said before, he’s more right than wrong.

“Ryan”, I owe you a beer. Let’s talk this week.

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