The first batch of Microsoft's Kinect for Windows v2 sensor has been made available to developers for pre-order for $199 in various regions around the world.
In April, Microsoft announced in the Build Developer Conference that Kinect for Windows v2 and its corresponding software development kit will be released in the summer. The company also previously announced that there will be more compatibility between Kinect software on the Xbox One and PC.
According to the official Microsoft Developer Network blog, there were thousands of developers that requested to be part of the Kinect for Windows v2's Developer Preview program. However, not all were given a chance to do so, with requests from all over the world asking to join the program still being sent to Microsoft.
Developers who pre-order the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor will be able to begin creating Windows Store apps, with access to the sensor ahead of the public as shipping starts on July 15. However, there will only be a limited number that will be sent out, including those that will be sent to the people that participated in the Developer Preview program.
Participants of the Developer Preview program had already made great progress with their designs, creating prototypes and apps which include finger tracking, touch-free controls for workers in an assembly line and environment monitoring tools.
"I love what the Kinect sensor and SDK can do. Getting the v2 sensor into the hands of more developers and getting the SDK more widely available is the next step," said Steven Guggenheimer, Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Chief Evangelist.
The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor offers many improvements, including better depth-sensing abilities, full 1080p video, improved infrared technology and enhanced skeletal tracking.
"The Kinect for Windows v2 sensor gives developers more of the precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities they need to develop interactive voice- and gesture-based applications for the Windows desktop and Windows Store," according to the device's listing at the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft has recently decided to sell their Xbox One gaming console without the Kinect sensor included, in an attempt to boost sales of the system as the price will decrease from $499 to $399. The Kinect sensor was a unique component for the Xbox One, but removing it from the bundle will allow the gaming console to much better compete with the booming sales of the Sony PlayStation 4, which has a selling price of $399.