You can read about the improvements that Kinect for Windows v2 offers over its predecessor, but seeing the differences with your own eyes is really, well, eye-opening—which is why we’re so pleased by this YouTube video posted by Microsoft MVP Josh Blake of InfoStrat. In it, Blake not only describes the improvements in skeletal tracking provided by the v2 sensor and the preview SDK 2.0 (full release of SDK 2.0 now available), he actually demonstrates the differences by showing side-by-side comparisons of himself and others being tracked simultaneously with the original sensor and the more robust v2 sensor.
As Blake shows, the v2 sensor tracks more joints, with greater anatomical precision, than the original sensor. His video also highlights the major improvements in hand tracking that the v2 sensor and SDK 2.0 provide, and, with the help of two colleagues, he demonstrates how Kinect for Windows v2 can track more bodies than was possible with the original sensor and prior releases of the SDK.
When asked how the improved skeletal-tracking capabilities can be utilized, Blake responded, “It helps improve several different scenarios. The more accurate anatomical precision is particularly useful in health and rehabilitation apps, as well as for controlling virtual avatars more accurately.” He also finds great potential in the enhanced hand-tracking capabilities, noting that “recognizing the two-finger point pose in addition to the hand open and hand closed poses means we have more options for developing interesting deep interactions.”
Finally, Blake points out that the ability to track the movements of up to six individuals will be valuable in a variety of situations, such as showroom scenarios or workplace applications that involve multiple people. “Before, users had a hard time understanding why the application would respond to two people but not more, or how to get it to switch to a new person,” he says. “The support for six full skeletons also means that we don’t have to compromise in how many people can interact with an application or experience at once.“
The Kinect for Windows Team