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An Introduction to the Kinect Sensor

Kinect for Xbox and Kinect for Windows

You can write programs that use either the Kinect for Xbox sensor or the Kinect for Windows sensor. The Kinect for Xbox sensor has been set up to allow it to be most effective when tracking the figures of game players. This means that it can track objects that are up to 12 feet (4.0 meters) away from the sensor but cannot track any objects that are closer than 24 inches (80 cm). The Kinect for Windows sensor has been set up to allow it to track a single user of a computer, and it has much better short-range performance as it is able to track objects as close to the sensor as 12 inches (40 cm).

The Kinect for Windows SDK was, as the name implies, primarily created for use with the Kinect for Windows sensor, but it will also work with an Xbox 360 Kinect sensor. Microsoft engineers will provide support into the future for Xbox Kinect from this SDK, but for best results, particularly if you want to track objects very close to the sensor bar, you should invest in a Kinect for Windows sensor device. The Kinect for Windows device can even track individual finger movements and gestures of the computer user.

The bottom line is that if you have an Xbox 360 with a Kinect device attached to it, you can use that sensor to have some fun learning how to create programs that can see, measure distance, and hear users. However, if you want to get serious about providing a product of your own that is based on the Kinect sensor, you should target the Kinect for Windows device. If you want complete details of how this all works, read the detailed End User License here:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/develop/sdk-eula.aspx