Microsoft is offering up a special application process for developers to get their hands on the all-new-and-improved Kinect sensor, giving them to the chance to build applications and tools before mainstream access hits sometime next year.
The kicker, of course, is that the new Kinect for Windows is a bit more expensive than the first generation model, clocking in at $399. Of course, the new Kinect is substantially more powerful, with greater image processing and recognition capabilities, superior 3D capabilities, and new HD video sensors.
Kinect for Windows’ dev program seems to have gotten an equally powerful upgrade, however, as your $399 will be fairly spent. Should Microsoft approve your application for the program, you’ll get a direct pipeline to the Kinect for Windows hardware and software engineering teams in the form of private forums and webcasts. Early SDK access seems obvious, but MS will also let programmers in on all the APIs the Kinect sensor offers.
Finally, you can expect to receive a pre-release Kinect for Windows sensor this fall, and a full-on, final hardware sensor when the new model officially launches in 2014.
Sound good? You’ll need to get your applications in by the end of July, and Microsoft isn’t promising that everyone will get access.