Kinect 1.5 update for Windows incoming

Posted by Mike Luttrell

An updated version of Microsoft's motion-tracking software optimized for PC applications will be available in May.

That is the official word from Microsoft, according to a post on the Kinect for Windows Blog.

Among the coolest new features of Kinect for Windows 1.5 will be the ability for developers to record video clips of users connecting with their programs while in debug mode.

"Also coming is what we call 'seated' or “10-joint” skeletal tracking, which provides the capability to track the head, neck and arms of either a seated or standing user. What is extra exciting to me about this functionality is that it will work in both default and near mode," Microsoft said in the blog post.

Like so many things, Kinect launched to the disappointment of many who said all that lofty PR speak was just hype. Kinect ended up being nothing more than Microsoft's version of the Wii Remote, with mini-games and extremely casual adventures taking up nearly every Kinect shelf in stores.

However, it seems that original hype is finally being realized. In addition to Kinect for Windows, Microsoft is beefing up the platform's presence on Xbox 360.

Mass Effect 3, for example, uses sophisticated technology that allows users to seamlessly interact with the intense shooting action of Mass Effect through voice commands and subtle gestures, making it a fluid experience, not a tacky one.