The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor and free SDK 2.0 public preview are here


Today, we began shipping thousands of Kinect for Windows v2 sensors to developers worldwide. And more sensors will leave the warehouse in coming weeks, as we work to fill orders as quickly as possible.

Additionally, Microsoft publicly released a preview version of the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 this morning—meaning that developers everywhere can now take advantage of Kinect’s latest enhancements and improved capabilities. The SDK is free of cost and there are no fees for runtime licenses of commercial applications developed with the SDK.

The new sensor can track as many as six complete skeletons and 25 joints per person.
The new sensor can track as many as six complete skeletons and 25 joints per person.

We will be releasing a final version of the SDK 2.0 in a few months, but with so many of you eagerly awaiting access, we wanted to make the SDK available as early as possible. For those of you who were unable to take part in our developer preview program, now you can roll up your sleeves and start developing. And for anyone else out there who has been waiting—well, the wait is over!

The new sensor’s key features include:

  • Improved skeletal tracking: The enhanced fidelity of the depth camera, combined with improvements in the software, have led to a number skeletal tracking developments. In addition to now tracking as many as six complete skeletons (compared to two with the original sensor), and tracking 25 joints per person (as compared to 20 with the original sensor), the tracked positions are more anatomically correct and stable—and the range of tracking is broader. This enables and simplifies many scenarios, including more stable avateering, more accurate body position evaluation, crisper interactions, and more bystander involvement in interactive scenarios.
  • Higher depth fidelity: With higher depth fidelity and a significantly improved noise floor, the v2 sensor gives you better 3D visualization, increased ability to see smaller objects and all objects more clearly, and more stable skeletal tracking.
  • 1080p HD video: The color camera captures full, beautiful 1080p video that can be displayed in the same resolution as the viewing screen, allowing for a broad range of powerful scenarios. In addition to improving video communications and video analytics applications, this provides a great input on which to build high-quality, augmented reality scenarios, digital signage, and more.
  • New active infrared capabilities: In addition to allowing the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor to see in the dark, the new infrared (IR) capabilities produce a lighting-independent view, which makes machine learning or computer-vision–based tasks much easier—because you don’t have to account for or model lighting-based variation. And, you can now use IR and color at the same time. We look forward to the many new and innovative uses that the community will develop to use this fundamentally new capability.
  • Wider/expanded field of view: The expanded field of view enables a larger area of a scene to be captured by the camera. As a result, users can be closer to the camera and still in view, and the camera is effective over a larger total area.

With the ability to track new joints for hand tips and thumbs—as well as improved understanding of the soft connective tissue and body positioning—you get more anatomically correct positions for crisp interactions.
With the ability to track new joints for hand tips and thumbs—as well as improved understanding of the soft connective tissue and body positioning—you get more anatomically correct positions for crisp interactions.

In addition to the new sensor’s key features, the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 includes:

  • Improved skeletal, hand, and joint orientation: With the ability to track as many as six people and 25 skeletal joints per person—including new joints for hand tips, thumbs, and shoulder center—as well as improved understanding of the soft connective tissue and body positioning—you get more anatomically correct positions for crisp interactions and more accurate avateering. These improved capabilities result in more lifelike avatars and open up new and better scenarios in fitness, wellness, education and training, entertainment, gaming, movies, communications, and more.
  • Support for new development environments: New Unity support provides faster, cost-efficient, and high quality support for cross-platform development, enabling developers to build their apps for the Windows Store using tools they already know.
  • Powerful tooling: Thanks to Kinect Studio’s enhanced recording and playback features, developers can develop on the go, without the need to have a Kinect sensor with them at all times. And Gesture Builder lets developers build their own custom gestures that the system recognizes and uses to write code by using machine learning. These features increase productivity and keep costs down.
  • Advanced face tracking: With significantly increased resolution, applications can capture a face with a 2,000-point mesh that looks more true to life. This means that avatars will look more lifelike.
  • Simultaneous multi-app support: New multi-app support enables more than one application to access a single sensor simultaneously. This means you could have a business intelligence app running at the same time that a training or retail or education experience were running, allowing you to get analytics in real time.

When the final version of the SDK is available, people will be able to start submitting their apps to the Windows Store, and companies will be able to make their v2 solutions available commercially. We look forward to seeing what everyone does with the new NUI.

The new SDK 2.0 public preview includes Unity support for faster, cost-efficient, and high quality support for cross-platform development, enabling developers to build their apps for the Windows Store using tools they already know.
The new SDK 2.0 public preview includes Unity support for faster, cost-efficient, and high quality support for cross-platform development, enabling developers to build their apps for the Windows Store using tools they already know.

We’ve already shown you what several partners are working on, including Reflexion Health and Freak n’ Genius. Most recently, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures have developed an interactive experience to help promote their upcoming movie, Planes 2: Fire & Rescue. One of seven experience kiosks will debut in London at the end of the week in time for school holidays. Disney is confident it will receive an enthusiastic reception from users of all ages, creating an engaging experience associated with the Disney brand and, of course, sparking interest in the movie which releases nationwide from August 8. Read more.

We will showcase more partner solutions here in coming months, so stay tuned. In the meantime, order your new sensor, download the SDK 2.0 public preview, and start developing your NUI apps. And please join our Microsoft Virtual Academy to learn from our experts and jump start your development.

The Kinect for Windows Team

Key links

Comments (61)

  1. Mark Schramm says:

    Where can I download the Unity3d package? The release notes say:

    "Unity Support

    For the first time, the Kinect API set is available in Unity Pro, via a Unity Package. We are excited to be able to offer the platform to our developers. Core APIs for Kinect for Windows are available in this API surface."

    But it is not included in the SDK 2.0 Preview download.

  2. John Doe says:

    No Windows 7 Support?

  3. fredano says:

    Not working on win7 !!! a joke ?

  4. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Kinect for Windows v2 is designed to operate on computers running Windows 8 or 8.1 and devices running Windows Embedded 8 or 8.1. Previous versions of Kinect for Windows were designed to operate on computers equipped with Windows 7 and industry devices running the Windows Embedded 7 and Windows Embedded 8 family of operating systems for the purposes of running Windows desktop applications.

    If you are running Windows 7, you can use Windows to Go. You will need a system that has a DirectX 11 compatible GPU.

  5. sb says:

    @Mark Schramm

    "Go to the Kinect for Windows SDK Download,http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx, expand the System Requirements, look for "Unity Pro Developers can download the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 Unity Pro Add-in to use Kinect APIs from within Unity.""

  6. Win7 says:

    No Windows 7 support is indeed a terrible decision.

  7. double_nill says:

    Why no Windows 7 – Back in March 2014 this same blog said Win 7 would be supported blogs.msdn.com/…/revealing-kinect-for-windows-v2-

    hardware.aspx

    Please see comment

    Kinect for Windows Team 

    19 May 2014 5:17 PM 

    HYPERLINK "blogs.msdn.com/…/revealing-kinect-for-windows-v2-hardware.aspx" 

    Hello Francesca,

    We are pleased to hear that you are interested in using the v2 sensor!

    Here are the system requirements:

    • Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Embedded Standard 7, or Windows Embedded POSReady 7

    • 64 bit (x64) processor, we recommend i5/i7 class

    • DX11 capable GPU

    • Dual-core 2.66-GHz or faster processor

    • Dedicated USB 3.0 bus (Intel or Renesas)

    • 2 GB RAM

    Thank you and let us know what you do with v2!

  8. Sen says:

    Why it's not specified in description at the time of purchase . We have just known it to reception and sdk release .Not good

  9. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello double_nill,

    Thank you for catching that. The comment from the former blog has been corrected and we regret the inaccurate information provided. Here are the requirements, consistent with all other published materials with the exception of the blog comment:

    •64-bit (x64) processor

    •Physical dual-core 3.1 GHz (2 logical cores per physical) or faster processor

    •USB 3.0 port dedicated to the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor (Intel and Renesas controllers)

    •2 GB of RAM

    •Graphics card that supports DirectX 11 (Intel HD 4000, AMD Radeon HD 6470M, NVIDIA Geforce 610m, AMD Radeon HD 6570)

    •Windows or Windows Embedded 8 or 8.1

  10. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Sen,

    Where are you located, so we can investigate?

    Thanks.

  11. ADT says:

    Received my Kinect v2 today. A nifty little machine and, as usual, great build quality from MS. Yesterday's MVA Kinect jump start event was very helpful to get to know what it can do (a lot!) and where its limits are (sunshine, defining new finger gestures).

  12. Yayra says:

    I'm having problems setting up the new kinect at the moment. On device manager after I have connected the kinect to my computer, it tells me "code 10: the device cannot start". I can use it as a microphone fine but none of the sample code can find the kinect. Is this a driver issue? BTW I have the new SDK 2.0 installed

  13. David says:

    Hello!

    Is there any "Kinect for Windows" Runtime available that´ll support the v2?

    Best,

    David

  14. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Yayra,

    Please post your question in our technical forum, where engineers and developers are actively responding to questions about Kinect for Windows. social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/home If they are unable to help you, they will put you in touch with a support team.

    Thanks!

  15. Kojack says:

    Yay, my Kinect 2 arrived.

    Although it's actually rather disappointing because I'm on Win 7 so I can't use it. (No, I'm not going to run win 8 from a usb drive)

    Kinect on pc is already a niche market, why limit it further by artificially restricting it to an operating system that has a quarter of the market share of Win 7?

  16. Jade says:

    Unbelievable that there is no Windows 7 support! Is this a joke or is this a joke? Terrible ethics Microsoft as I don't see any reason for incompatibility. Based on what I read around there are dark clouds regarding Kinect v2. Do you think it is going to rain?

  17. Aleksandar says:

    Hello,

    Is there any information when kinect v2 will be again in stock?

    Best wishes

  18. dada says:

    "Physical dual-core 3.1 GHz (2 logical cores per physical) or faster processor"

    Would this requirement mean that the surface pro would not cut it?

    As a side question, does the Kinect for Windows sensor work with a Xbox One bought without a Kinect sensor please…I'd like to buy it but with the requirement of such a CPU I'd hardly be able to use it and without additional value it's hardly worth it…only if I buy the Xbox One without a Kinect later on and then have it connect to it would it be worth while for me.

  19. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello double_nil,

    We would like to discuss how we can remedy your situation. Kindly email k4w@microsoft.com and we will be able to assist you.

    Thank you.

  20. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Jade, Kojack, John, Fredano and Win7,

    We appreciate your feedback. We would like to support Windows 7 but the USB 3.0 support is not robust enough. We recommend that you upgrade to Windows 8, as this is the only OS supported at this time for Kinect for Windows v2.

    Thank you.

  21. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Yayra,

    Please contact the support team:support.xbox.com/…/xbox-on-other-devices

    Thank you!

  22. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Great question, David,

    There is no runtime available at this time to support the public preview SDK 2.0. Please stay tuned for further updates, as we move towards general availability later this year.

    Thanks!

  23. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Alexsandar,

    In which region are you located? Once we know that, we will be able to provide more information on the sensor being out of stock in your area.

    Thank you.

  24. David says:

    No Windows 7 support is crazy.  I had read the original preview blog posts about Windows 7 support and not staying true to that is a deal breaker for me as I'm in a corporate environment that won't move to Win 8 for many years to come.  Hence, the Kinect v2 is useless.  If you say Window To Go is the only option, then how about a free version for those who have been mislead?  Alternatively, I'd accept you organising free return shipping and a full refund for my trouble.  Disappointing in so many ways.

  25. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello David, We are happy to assist you with your situation. If you would please send a direct message to either our Facebook inbox or our Twitter inbox, we can discuss the topic further.

    http://www.facebook.com/KinectForWindows and twitter.com/KinectWindows

    Thank you.

  26. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Dada,

    A Surface Pro 2 or 3 will work fine and they have been used successfully. Surface Pro 1 does work, but it the application use case will dictate whether or not it works for you.

    The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor contains a hub and power supply to allow you to plug it into a standard USB outlet on a PC. The existing Kinect for Xbox One plugs into a proprietary outlet specific to Xbox One for both power and data and does not include a connectivity kit for PC use.

    Thank you for the great question!

  27. Kojack says:

    Yep, got it running on my Surface Pro 2.

    The samples run well, although Kinect Studio crawls and has noticable skeleton tracking lag.

    I'm sitting here hunched over a 10" tablet to do coding while my hex core triple monitor workstation sits beside me, running win 7 (and handling all of my other usb 3 devices just fine). That seems a bit backwards.

    Kind of crazy the sdk doesn't at least extract the libs and headers on win 7. We should at least be able to do coding on win 7 even if it won't run. Needing to install on win 8 then copy the lib and inc directories over to the win 7 box is an unneeded annoyance.

    On a positive note, the depth channel looks way more accurate than the Kinect 1 (I of course knew it was, but it's good to see it live). Should be interesting to play with.

  28. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Sen,

    You should now be able to order in France!

    Thanks.

  29. Kojack says:

    When the full sdk comes out, it would be nice to make the OS check just a warning. Or some other method. Ok, win 8 is needed to run the samples. But it's not needed to code for the kinect. The libs and headers can be used for compiling just fine on windows 7, I wrote a kinect 2 demo on windows 7 today (then ran it on my surface pro 2).

    Needing to install the sdk onto a windows 8 machine, then copy/paste the inc and lib directories to a windows 7 machine is annoying, we should be able to extract the sdk where ever we want it, even if the executables won't run. At least put an ignore button in the installer when it detects non-win8.

  30. Davedub says:

    I'm currently researching component purchases for the development of a ground breaking NUI. I was very excited about the potential offered by the Kinect 2 and was ready to order. Then, just to be safe, I check for Win7 support. I see only Win8 support. I paid out for Win7 Ultimate last year, so there is no way I'm going to upgrade to Win8 and set up my entire dev environment again, period.

    Unless there is a workaround for this (please email me, dave at davedub dt co dt uk) I am forced to look for other solutions. I will not be bullied into upgrading.

    WHY GUYS, WHY?

    /shakes head slowly in exasperation and confounded disappointment.

  31. TomW says:

    I work at a AAA game studio and we'd like to eventually leverage Kinect2 for our titles but no Windows 7 Support!?!  

    Window 7 64bit is still about 52% of the gaming market!!

    Source: store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

    How are we suppose to target our user base?  We'd need to upgrade our entire QA department.

    Guessing I'm going to have to return this now.

  32. Dave says:

    No Windows 7, No Sale!, the reason why is ?, sigh

  33. Jay says:

    Hi

    when you say "Physical dual-core 3.1 GHz (2 logical cores per physical) or faster processor" are we talking about clock speed or max turbo frequency?

    Will it perform well with the Intel® Core™ i7-4510U Processor?

    thanks,

    Jay

  34. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Jay,

    Great question!

    For the first part of your question, we are referencing clock speed.

    With regards to the Intel® Core™ i7-4510U Processor, it should perform well but please keep in mind that the GPU is critical to overall performance and should be taken into consideration.

    Thank you.

  35. RM says:

    Is there at least hope for Windows 7 support?

  36. Ray says:

    Just got my 2 Kinect v2 today and was excited to try it out only to learn that the SDK only runs on Windows 8. I also read that it will support Win 7 before the final release and all of my laptops run Win 7. Having them all upgraded to Windows 8 just so I can use Kinect v2 is a waste of time and money, this is just cheating money out of your customers. C'mon Microsoft! It should run on Windows 7 because as you can see, there is a lot of demand for it.

  37. John says:

    The quality difference is amazing. But not worth upgrading to windows 8. Bummer.

  38. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Ray,

    Please send a note to k4w@microsoft.com and let them know of your concern. Thank you!

  39. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Ray,

    Please send an email to K4W@microsoft.com.

    Thank you!

  40. JJ says:

    Windows 7 64bit support! Please!

  41. BitMac says:

    ___ Windows 7 should be supported  ___

    |                                                                           |

    |                                                                           |

    |                         !!! :-)))                                        |

    |                                                                           |

    |                                                                           |

    ___ Windows 7 should be supported  ___

  42. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello,

    We appreciate the feedback on Windows 7 compatibility.

    Kinect for Windows v2 takes advantage of features that are unique to Windows 8 and above including the USB3 drivers. Over the past several months we have outlined a vision for a future with one Windows running across devices. blogs.windows.com/…/extending-platform-commonality-through-universal-windows-apps

    For developers, this makes the app development and management process faster and easier.

    Thank you.

  43. Alex says:

    In response to your visionary decision on one singular & universal OS: "I'm considering Linux. I refuse buying into your Windows 8 ploy." Consider my stubbornness a red flag before this product drowns.

  44. Victor says:

    No Win7 supported??!! it realy realy sucks!!!

    Will you develop team fix it ??

  45. Anthony says:

    I only care about seeing the depth map from this device.  I have many fine machines that should be able to be used – yes win7 machines.  Why is there not at least some minimal support on win7.  I am extremely disappointed.

    In addition I used a new tablet to run win8.  Unfortunately that does not have a supporting DirectX11 GPU.

    This has just become an expensive paper weight.  

  46. Anthony says:

    I see the following link claims to be able to partially satisfy the windows 7 setup.  Why would Microsoft support that kind of driver?  github.com/…/libfreenect2

    Thank you!

  47. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Anthony, Alex and Victor,

    Please send an email to k4w@microsoft.com, to discuss your concerns further.

    Thank you.

  48. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Bimac, JJ and Kojak,

    Please send an email to k4w@microsoft.com to discuss your concerns further.

    Thank you.

  49. AlFa says:

    I'm very disappointed about the Microsoft choice to don't support the Win 7, I would like to develop an application for children's rehabilitation, but without support to Win 7 it's veary hard test it because most of the our Pc's have Win 7 :(( A this point i will consider to use other libraries…

  50. Please add in support for Win7 says:

    We need to run on Win7 with Kinect v2. Upgrading to Win8 is not possible. Please enable the support for Win7.

  51. Andreas says:

    Win 7 64bit should really be supported.

    No support sucks.

    Please Microsoft show your Customers that you are the one!

  52. Disappointed says:

    I was already ready to buy the slightly over priced Kinect 2 to develop some software for it but really, no Windows 7 support?

    With the current state of Windows 8 there's no way I'd be upgrading to it and even less with all the people that would use my software.

    Perhaps there's some hope in Windows 9 but until that, game over.

  53. Dhaval says:

    Hello everyone,

    I am trying to install Kinect v2 Public Preview SDK in windows 8.1, 64-bit, i5 Processor, 8 GB RAM, 1 GB Graphics, but it is continuously giving me the following error:

    "An Error occurred. Please check the setup logs for more information"

    And with this i am getting a link to the temp folder of my system.

    I cleaned all the temp files but it still gives me the same error.

    Any idea why..????

  54. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Dhaval,

    Please post this question in our public forum, where our engineers and other developers are responding to questions like yours! Thank you.

    http://aka.ms/k4wv2forum

  55. Cameron says:

    Just another complaint that windows 7 isn't supported.

  56. Adriano Santos says:

    Hello folks, do you know if is possible developing for kinect v2 on Windows 10 (Preview)?

    Thanks.

  57. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello Adriano,

    Windows 10 will extend the universal Window app model we introduced with Windows 8.1 Update and you can expect Windows 10 to make building great universal apps even more rewarding and efficient whether they are Kinect apps or not. We have no further information to share at this time, but we’ll have more to report in the coming months.

    Thank you for the great question!

  58. Adriano Santos says:

    Hello Team,

    My hardware is:

    Motherboard ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3

    AMD 6 core processor 3.5ghz

    8gb RAM

    GeForce GTX 760

    USB Controller 3.0 ASMedia USB 3.0 eXtesible Host Controller

    The Kinect v2 Configuration Verifier returns the message below:

    USB Controller

    Result: Unknown USB 3.0 port detected. Your USB configuration may support Kinect for Windows.

    The kinec v2 does not worked, i installed one PCI-e usb controller (Renesas USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller – 0100 (Microsoft)) and does not working yet.

    I don't know what to do anymore, can you help me please?

    There's a PCI-e that is working?

    Thanks so much!

  59. Kinect for Windows Team says:

    Hello again, Adriano,

    Please post your question in the Kinect for Windows forums, where the developer community and Kinect for Windows engineers are actively monitoring and responding to questions like yours http://bit.ly/KinectSDKForums. Thank you.

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