Microsoft is making available to developers on March 18 an updated version of the software development kit (SDK) for its Kinect for Windows sensor.
The 1.7 release will include the new SDK plus the "new and improved Human Interface Guidelines (HIG)," according to a March 16 post to the Kinect for Windows blog.
Among the new additions to the SDK are Kinect Interactions, which include push-to-press buttons, grip-to-pan capabilities and new ways to add support for multiple users and two-person interactions.
"We wanted to save businesses and developers hours of development time while making it easier for them to create gesture-based experiences that are highly consistent from application to application and utterly simple for end users," said Microsoft officials in the blog post.
Another new addition is incorporation of Microsoft Research's Kinect Fusion technology, which allows for 3-D renderings of people and objects. Microsoft officials are playing up the applicability of the Kinect Fusion technology in "real-world scenarios, such as "augmented reality, 3-D printing, interior and industrial design, and body scanning for things such as improved clothes shopping experiences and better-fitting orthotics."
The recently open-sourced Kinect for Windows code samples also are available for use in conjunction with the new SDK. (It's just the samples, not the core Kinect for Windows code itself, that is available via an Apache license, in case anyone was confused.)
The Kinect for Windows sensor looks like the Kinect for Xbox sensor. But it is designed to work at closer range and to work with Windows 7/8 PCs. In addition to making firmware adjustments in the new Windows Kinect sensor, Microsoft shortened the the USB cable and included a “small dongle” to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals. The Windows version also modified the Kinect depth camera to see objects that are “as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device.
The Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) and runtime are available under both a commercial license and a hobbyist license, allowing developers to create commercial/business applications that make use of the product.
Version 1.7 of the Kinect for Windows SDK will be available for download from the Kinect for Windows site later today, officials said.