Microsoft has launched the Kinect for Windows commercial program, which it says was designed to let firms explore new ways "to improve internal operations, build new customer experiences, and potentially revolutionise their industries".
The move means any business can now join the 300-plus organisations already developing applications with Kinect for Windows through an early adoption program. These include the United Health Group, American Express, Mattel, Telefonica and Toyota.
To encourage small businesses to adopt the technology, Microsoft and Tech Stars are running a Kinect Accelerator program offering entrepreneurs, engineers and innovators the opportunity to develop applications with Kinect as part of a three-month intensive competition.
"It's been just over a year since we launched Kinect for Xbox 360, and we're only starting to scratch the surface of what's possible with Kinect," said Kinect for Windows general manager Craig Eisler.
"By offering hardware and software that's designed specifically for Windows applications, we hope to inspire visionaries around the world to create transformative breakthroughs with Kinect - taking its gesture and voice capabilities beyond the living room into other industries such as education, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail."
The Kinect for Windows commercial license and purchasable hardware is available in 12 countries (United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and United States).
Computer firms will soon be incorporating Kinect technology into laptops, according to a recent report.