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kinectwindowsv2Microsoft today opened up pre-orders for its next-generation Kinect for Windows, which will sell for $199 and start shipping on July 15.

The company announced that next month it will also release a public beta of its software development kit for the Kinect for Windows v2. Microsoft notes that developers who snag the device now will have a chance to get a head start before the Kinect and SDK is available to the general public a “few months” later.

kinect212The v2’s design mimics that of the Xbox One’s Kinect, with a few minor changes: There’s a “Kinect” emblem on the top panel, and the Xbox Nexus on the right side has been changed to small circular power indicator.

You can see the device’s hub and power supply to the right. The hub accepts three connections — the sensor, USB 3.0 output to PC, power — while the power supply will support voltages from 100-to-240 volts, depending on the region.

There are several improvements from v1, including 1080p HD video, improved skeletal tracking, a wider field of view and active infrared detection.

Those who participated in the Kinect for Windows v2 Developer Preview Program this past summer will have their v2 sensors shipped to them next month. Along with the U.S., the device will be available in 21 other countries

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