Just announced: The motion-sensing Kinect for your desktop Windows PC, which Microsoft says will be out in America and the UK from 1st February 2012. Price will be $249 U.S., and I guess that means it’ll sell at £199 in the UK. That’s quite a hefty price in a recession, especially considering hacked Windows drivers for using normal Xbox Kinects with a desktop PC have been around for ages.
But apparently there will be a new “near mode” with the official Windows Kinect kit, so it’ll work at a distance of around 20 inches. Possibly that’ll be new-model dependent, meaning the hacked drivers won’t be able to do “near mode”. At 20 inches maybe we’ll even see viable markerless facial animation capture (my guess), which would be very interesting for getting more natural-looking animation. Possibly we’ll also be able to do “virtual cameras”, which will also be useful since setting up nice smooth camera glides and turns is one of the things that’s still a real chore in iClone.
Reallusion is also set to release improvements to its Kinect interface add-on for iClone, at around the same time. They’ve specifically talked of better sensing for “elbows, heads and feet”. And I seem to remember that the recent iClone 5.1 upgrade also added a lot of new Kinect features.
[ Hat-tip: CCliffy ]