Many of the new Windows 10 based systems that have been hitting the market since the release of Windows 10 in July have begun to include the special cameras required to use the Windows Hello facial recognition to log into the new operating system.
While the Intel RealSense hardware development kit has been an option for several months to use this new Windows 10 feature there have not been any third party hardware companies, including Microsoft, who have released a camera peripheral for this purpose.
While that amazes me because it is such a miss on those companies part because everyone on Windows 10 seems to want to use Windows Hello for logging into their devices. I use the RealSense hardware kit camera on my main desktop PC and it is great to just sit down and get logged into my system automatically.
Although Intel continues to sell that kit for $120 including the shipping the device is hard to come by because of the demand for it since it is the only third party option to add Windows Hello capabilities to an existing system.
As of today that appears to be changing and it is not because a third party camera peripheral manufacturer has finally produced a USB based Windows Hello camera for the masses.
This new solution will use the Xbox One Kinect ($99), a special cable to connect it to a Windows 10 based device ($50) and beta drivers from the Kinect for Windows developer program.
If you already have an Xbox One console with Kinect you can use that device as it is compatible with Windows 10 but you do need the Kinect Adapter for Windows cable ($50) to make the required device connection.
Once you have those two elements then a registry edit is needed to enable your system to opt into driver flighting for Kinect on Windows. Registry editing is risky so back things up before you follow these steps from Microsoft.
The first step is to opt-in to driver flighting.
You can follow the instructions here to set up your registry by hand, or you can use the following text to create a .reg file to right-click and import the settings:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
Next, you can use Device Manager to update to the preview version of the Kinect driver and runtime:
- Open Device Manager (Windows key + x, then m).
- Expand “Kinect sensor devices”.
- Right-click on "WDF KinectSensor Interface 0".
- Click "Update Driver Software..."
- Click “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
- Allow it to download and install the new driver.
Once your system is finished restarting you can use this guide for setting up Windows Hello.
Caveat: The Kinect must be plugged directly into a USB 3.0 port because the device needs that bandwidth to transfer the data effectively and work properly.
Let us know how this process works for you.
Thanks to Simon Bisson (@sbisson) for the tip.