If information shared with GottaBeMobile is true, many of Microsoft’s most loyal users and owners of the Xbox One console won’t need to go out and purchase extra hardware before they can take advantage of the Windows Hello login system in Windows 10. According to a Microsoft employee, Windows Hello will soon pick up support for the Kinect sensor for the Xbox One.
Someone in a position to know about the company’s plans for Windows Hello confirmed that there are plans to let users sign into their PC using Windows Hello recently. Windows Hello is the new built-in security system that lets Windows 10 users sign into their PC with just their face instead of a password. The setup process is petty quick, finally giving users the means to abandon the password for everyday use. Microsoft and other companies like Apple are hoping that depending on sensors and things that are very hard to fake will keep user’s information secure.
The source could only say that Windows Hello “will support Kinect” sometime in the future. They didn’t provide a timetable for when that support will arrive. This source didn’t elaborate on any of Microsoft’s future plans for the Kinect sensor either.
That Windows 10 users will be able to pair the Kinect sensor with their device to get Windows Hello makes absolute sense. Launched in 2013 along with the Xbox One, the Kinect sensor for Xbox One is pretty powerful. It has an array of cameras that can track even the movement of a single finger. In fact, the Xbox Fitness uses the Kinect sensor to breakdown workout movements, calorie burn and heart rate.
So far, Microsoft has consistently mentioned only the Intel RealSense camera when showing off Windows Hello. Besides unlocking computers without a password, Intel RealSense cameras could allow users to control their PC with gestures, remove backgrounds from their surroundings when video and do 3D scans of objects. To be clear, Intel only says that this is what’s possible with Intel RealSense technology. Intel needs software makers for any of that to happen.
On some level it does make sense that Microsoft would keep the focus on Intel’s technology. Both companies are on a mission to boost sales of new hardware with Windows 10. Intel RealSense cameras are built directly into many of the mid-range and high-end notebooks that are launching over the next few weeks.
Right now, getting an Intel RealSense camera to go with your Windows 10 notebook PC is problematic. The camera is sold as part of a kit meant for app makers, but Intel’s website is completely sold out. The company will send users an email when the camera returns to its store. When it’s in stock the Intel RealSense Developer Kit costs $99.
The Kinect for Xbox One sensor itself costs $149 and comes with a free download code for Dance Central Spotlight on Xbox One. Besides allow users to play motion games, the console uses Kinect to communicate with televisions and monitor what players in a given room have which controller. Anyone who purchases the $499 Xbox One bundle gets a Kinect sensor with their console.
If and when Microsoft releases Windows Hello support for the Kinect sensor, users who have an Xbox One version will need to make an extra purchase before they can take advantage of the feature. The Kinect for Xbox One needs a special adapter that provides power and a USB port. That accessory is called the Kinect Adapter for Windows. It too, is now out of stock at Amazon, where it sells for $49.99.