A new version of Microsoft’s Kinect motion control peripheral is on the way, specifically for Windows PCs.
Microsoft confirmed the hardware’s existence on the Kinect for Windows blog, but gave no firm details on dating or any indication of pricing.
The Kinect for Windows hardware will differ slightly from the Xbox 360 version, sporting a shoter USB cable and a “small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals”.
More interestingly, the camera will support something called Near Mode, which is apparently top of many developers’ request lists. The new mode allows the Kinect to sense objects as close as 50 cm without wigging out, and even as close as 40 cm with only minor issues. This is obviously a better scenario for desktop PC software than the Kinect for Xbox 360’s insistence on getting you halfway across the room.
Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows SDK went into closed beta in early November.