Microsoft releases Kinect SDK for PCs

The company is showing off apps that developers built after getting access to the SDK yesterday

Microsoft on Thursday released a beta version of a software development kit that lets hobbyists build applications for the Kinect sensor.

Microsoft launched the Kinect last year in conjunction with the Xbox 360 gaming console to let people play games without a controller. Kinect senses user movements so people control games by waving their arms and moving their bodies.

Now, developers can build applications that use the Kinect on PCs running Windows 7. The SDK is currently available only for noncommercial use, but Microsoft said it plans to release a commercial package in the future.

The SDK offers developers access to the raw streams from sensors in the Kinect including the depth sensor, color camera sensor and the microphone array.

Developers will also be able to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving in view of the Kinect for the creation of gesture-driven applications.

The SDK includes audio features such as noise suppression and echo cancellation. Developers will be able to access beam formation technology to identify the source of sounds. They'll also be able to access the Windows speech recognition API (application programming interface).

Developers can write using C#, C++ and any .Net language.

To kick off the launch, Microsoft invited a group of academic and professional developers to create applications over the past 24 hours using the new SDK. The company is showing off some of the new apps. One includes a game that a user can play at home with Kinect in conjunction with someone remotely using their Windows Phone 7.

Another application lets the user conduct an orchestra using hand gestures and a visual map of the instruments on stage. The conductor can control the tempo and volume of the music using gestures.

Microsoft is showing live demos of the applications and discussing the SDK online for part of the day on Thursday.

Microsoft thinks that releasing the SDK will enable a wide array of applications in many fields including entertainment, robotics, health care, education and automotive. "The possibilities are really endless," said Anoop Gupta, distinguished scientist at Microsoft Research.

After Microsoft launched Kinect some people began hacking into it to develop their own applications. Microsoft initially resisted those efforts, saying it would work to keep Kinect closed. But it quickly relented and said it would release an SDK to let people develop applications using the device.

The SDK is available for download now.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftgamesGame platformsXbox360gaming peripherals

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?