The new $49.99 adapter is specific to Kinect sensors built for Xbox One, and it plugs into the USB 3.0 port of Windows 8 PCs. Microsoft already sold a separate $199.99 Kinect for Windows v2 motion sensor, which plugs directly into PCs without the need for an adapter.
There will be no difference in the performance of the Kinect sensors, Microsoft said.
Kinect sensors can recognize movement and gestures, which then allows users to participate in games. For PCs, it can do a lot more than a simple webcam-style monitor. Kinect sensors, for example, can work with Windows applications like Microsoft’s 3D Builder, which allows the scanning of 3D objects.
Software developers are working on a wide variety of PC applications that take advantage of Kinect sensors, which are also being used with engineering, design and health care applications.
To further fuel developer interest, Microsoft on Wednesday also released the Kinect SDK 2.0, which is available for download. It is an update from the June preview, and has more than 200 updates and improvements.
With SDK 2.0, “developers can commercially deploy Kinect apps in the Windows Store for the first time,” Microsoft said.