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New Kinect for Windows watches Xbox One, plans own 2014 release date

The technology behind Xbox One and the new Kinect was referred to as "rocket science level stuff" by Microsoft at its press conference, and it's now coming to PCs in 2014.

"I am pleased to announce that Microsoft will also deliver a new generation Kinect for Windows sensor next year," wrote Kinect for Windows director Bob Heddle in a blog post today.

The redesigned Kinect 2.0 for Windows is being built alongside the Xbox One Kinect using shared technology, meaning it too will have an HD color camera.

This goes along with the sensor's ability to track more points of the human body, including the tip of one's hand and thumb, and track up to six skeletons at once.

Microsoft is also implementing its proprietary Time-of-Flight technology, which measures the time it takes individual photons to rebound off an object or person for the utmost accuracy.

Tracking down developers

Okay, the talk of rebounding photons does sound closer to "rocket science level stuff" than most consumer technology.

Consequently, Heddle targeted his new Kinect for Windows blog post to developers, the same audience that Microsoft went after with the first PC-focused Kinect.

"The Kinect for Windows community will benefit from the sensor's enhanced fidelity, which will allow developers to create highly accurate solutions that see a person's form better than ever," he wrote.

Heddle hopes developers will be able to create apps thanks to the new camera's ability to see a person's form better, track objects with greater detail, and understand voice commands in noisier settings.

Kinecting at the Build Conference

From its noise-isolating multi-microphone that filters ambient sounds to its expanded field of view that ensures you don't have to completely rearrange your room, Kinect for Windows sounds like a huge improvement.

However, PC developers will have to wait a little longer for the new technology over soon-to-be Xbox One Kinect owners. Kinect for Windows isn't scheduled for general release until 2014.

To hold everyone over, Microsoft plans to reveal more about the new Windows-based Kinect at its Build Developer Conference starting on June 26.

  • Find out more about the new Xbox One Kinect's next appearance by following our E3 2013 coverage.
Matt Swider

US Editor-in-Chief

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting US Editor-in-Chief Editor who leads the US team in New York City. He began his tech journalism career all the way back in 1999 at the ripe at of 14, and first started writing for TechRadar in 2012. He's tested over 1,000 phones, tablets and wearables and commands a Twitter account of 600,000+ followers. Matt received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.