Microsoft has announced they will be making a special edition of the Kinect available designed especially for Windows hackers. The new Kinect will include optimized hardware components and firmware adjustments to better enable PC-centric scenarios. The unit will complement the Kinect for Windows SDK. MS reports:
Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters. “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.
No pricing info was released. The device is anticipated in early 2012.