Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t see your question listed below, please see our public Kinect for Windows forum, where you can exchange ideas with the Kinect community and Microsoft engineers, browse existing questions or ask a new question by clicking the "Ask a question" button.

Windows 10
Is Kinect for Windows compatible with Windows 10?

Yes. Existing Kinect for Windows v2 applications will continue to work on Windows 10. Kinect for Windows apps built for Windows 8 and 8.1 PCs and tablets and Windows Store apps will install and run on Windows 10 without any code changes. Developers can build Kinect for Windows v2 apps by using the latest sensor and SDK 2.0 and a PC or tablet running Windows 8, 8.1, or Windows 10. See system requirements

I want to build Kinect-enabled apps on Windows 10. What do I need?

Use the latest sensor and the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 to create Windows apps that run on PCs and tablets. Be sure to select “Windows 8.1” as a supported target during application authoring to ensure that your application also runs on Windows 10. Kinect for Windows v2 apps will continue to work after an upgrade to Windows 10. As always, we recommend that that you test applications on new platforms as they are released. Download the free SDK 2.0

I’m running Windows 10. Can I create Universal Windows Platform apps by using Kinect for Windows v2?
  • At this time, Windows 10 does not support using Kinect for Windows v2 to develop Universal Windows Apps (apps that have the potential to run on any Windows-powered device) but Microsoft remains committed to the Kinect for Windows technology. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and a Kinect driver update, coming later this year, Kinect developers will gain new opportunities to incorporate Kinect for Windows into Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps by taking advantage of the RGB, infrared (IR), and depth data captured by the Kinect sensor. A supplemental SDK that will be available later this year will provide developers with access to skeletal poses. With access to these data, Kinect developers will be able to deliver UWP apps with Kinect for Windows support to the Windows Store.
  • Join the Windows Insider Program so that you can access preview builds—including Windows 10 build 14332 (with new Windows.Media.Capture.Frames extensions to Media Capture) and its preview SDK. Watch the Channel 9 video for a brief preview of the full capabilities that will be available when the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK and the supplemental Kinect SDK are released to the public, including full skeleton support.
  • Read the blog about plans for Kinect and UWP
  • Read about the Universal Windows Platform
Do Kinect for Windows v2 apps that I built on Windows 8 and 8.1 also work on Windows 10?

Yes. Kinect v2 apps that were built for the Windows 8 and 8.1 desktop will continue to work on Windows 10 and will have access to new Windows 10 features.

Will customers using existing Kinect for Windows v2 business applications be affected if they upgrade to Windows 10?

Kinect for Windows v2 apps will continue to work after an upgrade to Windows 10. As always, we recommend that that you test applications on new platforms as they are released.

Hardware
Which Kinect sensor should I use?

Microsoft has consolidated the Kinect for Windows developer experience around the Kinect for Xbox One sensor and is no longer producing the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. We encourage developers who do not already have the v2 sensor to use the functionally identical Kinect for Xbox One sensor and Kinect Adapter for Windows to create interactive v2 solutions and applications. The adapter enables you to connect a Kinect for Xbox One sensor to Windows 8.0, 8.1, and 10 PCs and tablets in the same way as you would a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. Since the Kinect for Xbox One and Kinect for Windows v2 sensors are functionally identical, the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 works exactly the same with either.

Microsoft remains committed to Kinect for Windows as a development platform. While we are no longer producing Kinect for Windows v2 sensors, we continue to focus on Kinect innovation and providing developers with the tools they need to develop Kinect for Windows applications and solutions—whether they are using the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor or the Kinect for Xbox One sensor with the Kinect Adapter for Windows. Read the blog about this announcement

Where do I purchase Kinect hardware?

To purchase the latest sensor and adapter, visit the Microsoft Store or view our worldwide retailers page to see availability in your region.

Do I need the Kinect Adapter for Windows?

The Kinect Adapter for Windows connects your Kinect for Xbox One sensor to Windows 8.0, 8.1, and 10 PCs and tablets so that you can take advantage of the Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 to create interactive applications that respond to peoples’ movements, gestures, and voice commands. With the adapter, the Kinect for Xbox One sensor performs identically to the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor with v2 applications and development.

The adapter is not for use with Xbox consoles. You can use it as a spare power supply for the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor.

Do you still sell and support the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor?

If you already own a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, please be assured that our support for the v2 sensor remains unchanged and you can continue to use it for both commercial and non-commercial uses. If you don’t have a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, we encourage you to purchase the Kinect for Xbox One sensor and Kinect Adapter for Windows—which together, are functionally identical to the v2 sensor for developing and running Kinect for Windows v2 applications. We no longer manufacture Kinect for Windows v2 sensors and have sold out of existing stock.

Is Kinect certified to IEC standard 60950 or equivalent?
  • Yes, the Kinect sensor complies with International Standard IEC 60825-1:2007 for a Class 1 laser product. It also complies with 21 CFR 1040.10 and 1040.11 except for deviations pursuant to Laser Notice No. 50, dated June 24, 2007. The sensor is for use with NRTL Listed (UL, CSA, ETL, etc.), and/ or IEC/EN 60950-1 compliant (CE marked) information technology equipment.
  • See the Kinect for Xbox One sensor product guide for more details.
How can I get technical support for my sensor?
Development
What do I need so that I can start developing Kinect v2 applications?

To develop Kinect for Windows v2 apps, you need the latest Kinect hardware (Kinect for Xbox One sensor plus the Kinect Adapter for Windows or the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor [no longer being manufactured]), the free Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) 2.0, and a PC or tablet running Windows 8.0, 8.1, or 10. If you don’t already own a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, the Kinect Adapter for Windows enables you to connect a Kinect for Xbox One sensor to Windows 8.0, 8.1, or 10 PCs and tablets in the same way as you would a Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. And because both Kinect for Xbox One and Kinect for Windows v2 sensors are functionally identical, our Kinect for Windows SDK 2.0 works exactly the same with either.

The Kinect sensor and the Kinect Adapter for Windows are available via the Microsoft Store and worldwide resellers. The adapter is not for use with Xbox consoles. Download the free SDK 2.0

Where do I download the runtime version of Kinect for Windows v2 for my end users?

There is no separate download for the v2 runtime. The runtime, driver, and firmware will download automatically when you connect your sensor to your PC or tablet.

Will my Kinect for Windows solutions work on Windows 8 Embedded Devices?

Yes, they will, and this opens up many opportunities for Kinect developers.

Windows Embedded 8 gives enterprises access to additional features to support industry devices within intelligent systems, including compatibility with thousands of existing Windows applications and drivers. Support for Kinect for Windows paves the way for exciting future applications in retail, healthcare, industrial automation and manufacturing, and many other industries.

These Kinect-enabled solutions can help increase ease of use, reduce training time, and make employee and customer experiences more enjoyable. Additionally, Kinect for Windows can provide your clients with valuable user-centric data that can drive key business decisions.

What are the terms of the Kinect for Windows SDK commercial license (EULA)? How is the commercial license different from the non-commercial license?

The Kinect for Windows SDK commercial license authorizes the development and distribution of commercial applications that were developed by using the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK). The commercial license enables developers to create and sell their Kinect for Windows applications to customers who use Kinect for Windows or Kinect for Xbox One hardware on Windows platforms. The non-commercial license applied to the first preview version of the SDK, which was appropriate for research, testing, and experimentation, but is not suitable to produce commercial products

Does Kinect for Windows SDK offer facial recognition capabilities?

Since version 1.5, the Kinect for Windows SDK and toolkit have supported real-time face tracking. Face tracking is not intended for facial recognition or identification. Face tracking detects and tracks the positions and orientations of faces in real time and provides animated three-dimensional (3D) meshes that are positioned over the Kinect depth-sensor data. Face tracking can animate, in real time, eyebrow positions and mouth shape, as well as provide a high-resolution 3D mesh of the face than can be animated. With SDK 2.0, Kinect can also track whether eyes are open or closed, the position of the nose, facial expressions, and the direction the face is pointing. The resolution of the tracked face has been increased by 20 times with a 1,360-point mesh, so that faces look more realistic. Conventional face-recognition algorithms can be used with the Kinect sensor’s RGB stream; we continue to investigate how the Kinect sensor's extra capabilities can be used.

Where can I find Kinect v2 C# speech recognition documentation?

Full documentation for the speech API is available at the Bing Dev Center.

What does Kinect Fusion do?

Kinect Fusion “fuses” data that is captured by a Kinect sensor into a digital copy that closely mimics the real world. Instead of taking a single snapshot from the sensor, Kinect Fusion combines—in real time—multiple snapshots from various perspectives from a moving Kinect sensor to create a full 3D model. With this capability, Kinect for Windows becomes one of the most affordable tools available today for creating accurate 3D renderings.

I’m still using the original sensor and an older version of the SDK. Why should I upgrade to Kinect for Windows v2?

The latest sensor and free SDK 2.0 equip you with advanced technology for developing and deploying gesture- and voice-based applications for your customers and business needs. With the improved precision, responsiveness, and intuitive capabilities of Kinect v2, businesses and developers can bring their innovative ideas to life more efficiently.

In addition to the key technology improvements, by using the latest sensor and SDK, developers can create Kinect v2 applications for commercial distribution through the Windows Store. The Windows Store offers applications from a variety of categories, reaching a widespread customer base.

Will upgrading to the SDK 2.0 change the operation or effectiveness of applications that were created on previous versions of the Kinect for Windows SDK?

The SDK 2.0 is the latest compatibility band for Kinect for Windows. You will need the latest Kinect hardware (Kinect for Xbox One sensor plus the Kinect Adapter for Windows or the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor [no longer being manufactured])—and must port your application to the SDK 2.0. In most cases, we have seen these ports go smoothly for developers. The v2 API is an evolution of the Managed API for Kinect for Windows, so it is easy to port the vast majority of applications.

Windows Store
How will potential customers buy my Kinect for Windows apps in the Windows Store?

It couldn’t be easier. All they need to do is search for Kinect apps in the Windows Store and then click to buy the ones that interest them. You can even offer free trials of your apps—a sure way to generate customer interest. Visit the Windows Store

How do I sell my Kinect for Windows v2 app in the Windows Store?

You need to register with the Windows Store and follow the standard submission process. The following links provide guidance. Learn how to build your app for distribution in the Windows Store

Compatibility
Which operating systems are compatible with the latest Kinect sensor and SDK 2.0?

The latest sensor, whether it’s the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor or the Kinect for Xbox One sensor, and SDK 2.0 are fully compatible with Windows 8 and have been tested for use with computers and devices with 64-bit processors running Windows 8 or 8.1 and Windows Embedded 8. The latest sensor and SDK are compatible with PCs and tablets running Windows 10. Find more system requirements

Which device categories are compatible with Kinect for Windows?

Kinect for Windows v2 is designed to operate on PCs and tablets running Windows 8 or 8.1 and devices running Windows Embedded 8. It is also compatible with PCs and tablets running Windows 10. Previous versions of Kinect for Windows were designed to operate on computers equipped with Windows 7 and industry devices running the Windows Embedded 7 and Windows Embedded 8 family of operating systems for the purposes of running Windows desktop applications. Due to the processing requirements, some older computers may not support the latest Kinect sensor or some of the software capabilities; newer machines should be fine. Minimum specification is a dual-core 3.1 GHz computer with a 64-bit processor dedicated USB 3.0 controller, and 4 GB RAM. See system requirements

Can I use the Kinect for Windows SDK on a Mac or virtual machine running a version of the Windows operating system?

Yes. If you are on a Mac, you can use Bootcamp or Windows to Go. If you are running Windows 7, you can use Windows to Go. You will need a system that has a DirectX 11 compatible GPU.

This greatly expands the utility of the SDK and toolkit, as they can be used on any machine whose native operating system supports running Windows.

Industry examples
Can you provide some examples of recent Kinect for Windows solutions?

Yes. Here are a few examples of recent deployments that used Kinect for Windows.

Ubi Interactive: A public high school system, Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Puebla, rolled out a Ubi Interactive touchscreen solution that uses the Kinect sensor making learning interactive for more than 26,000 students in Pueblo, Mexico.

Intel-GE Care Innovations: Intel-GE Care Innovations uses the Respond Well physical therapy solution, which monitors patients’ progress and corrects their technique as they perform rehab exercises from the comfort of home.

Denver Broncos: The organization deployed Kinect for Windows in their stadium’s “Technology Zone” this winter (just in time for the Super Bowl) to enhance the experience for the fans in attendance. Solutions provider 2lemetry built an application that displays informational content, such as a timeline with archival footage, cheerleader backgrounds, and the team’s roster with updated stats for fans to watch on two screens. It also includes an interactive trivia game that lets fans in the stadium compete against each other in real time. Watch the video

Amana: Amana-Whirlpool created Kinect-enabled, interactive in-store kiosks to help shoppers make informed buying decisions. The kiosk consists of an Amana refrigerator, dishwasher, combination range/microwave hood—and a Kinect sensor, positioned to capture a customer’s interactions with the products. After noting which product has grabbed the customer’s attention, the solution provides the appropriate guidance and product information—contextually and in real time. This ingenious system has been deployed in stores across the United States and featured at Digital Experience. Read the blog

Pepsi: Pepsi developed an interactive vending machine that invites fans to test their soccer skills against an all-star squad. With their moves captured by a Kinect sensor, thirsty fans are challenged to beat the pros for the reward of a free Pepsi.

Are there examples of Kinect for Windows being used in healthcare?

Yes. Kinect for Windows can be a valuable tool in a variety of healthcare situations. For example, during surgery, doctors and nurses are using Kinect for Windows to navigate through medical images (X-rays, CT scans, etc.) by gesturing—allowing the surgical team to remain sterile and save time. Also, gesture-based training enables doctors to practice their surgical skills in a more realistic environment—and for less than the cost of surgical simulators. Outside of the operating room, Kinect for Windows is being used to enhance physical therapy, monitor a patient's progress, and more. A number of healthcare organizations have integrated Kinect for Windows into their healthcare services, including Intel-GE Care Innovations, GestSure, Reflexion Health, alex’s place, OPECT, InterKnowledgy, Avanade, RespondWell, higi, and Genesis Healthcare. Notably, in May 2014, Jintronix received FDA clearance for their stroke-rehab solution. According to the company, this is the first time that the Kinect sensor has been approved for use directly with patients in a healthcare setting—paving the way for sensor technology to be used in this way more broadly in the future.

Are there examples of Kinect for Windows being used in retail?

Yes. Kinect for Windows can be found in a variety of interactive retail experiences that engage customers, enhance brand awareness, and help drive toward a purchasing decision. Solutions range from virtual product trials to interactive screen experiences that respond to gesture and voice. The many companies that have already taken advantage of Kinect for Windows solutions in the retail industry include Amana, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Barbie (Mattel), Build-A-Bear, Kimetric, Nissan, Marks & Spencer, Audi, and Pepsi.

Are there examples of Kinect for Windows being used in education and training?

Yes. Ideal for hands-free presentations and interactive learning, Kinect for Windows can be found in a variety of education and training scenarios, from early childhood education through corporate training. Several institutions already use Kinect for Windows in education and training applications, including Ubi Interactive, Kaplan Early Learning, nsquared, IES/MiloRange, and Siemens PLM Software.

Are there examples of Kinect for Windows being used in entertainment?

Yes. Kinect for Windows is being used to enhance entertainment services by providing real-time interactions with audiences. Among the companies using Kinect for Windows in entertainment are Konami and Distortions Unlimited, whose animatronic, interactive monsters appeared on an episode of the Travel Channel’s Making Monsters.

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