New gesture toolkit available for Kinect for Windows developers

GesturePak is a new third-party toolkit for Kinect for Windows developers that requires little coding.

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Carl Franklin has developed a new gesture toolkit for Kinect for Windows that promises to allow gesture capture and recognition with little coding required.

His new app, GesturePak, goes on sale as of April 18 for $99. (A site license is $799.) Franklin said he will make it available for developers to incorporate into their apps on a royalty-free basis. Franklin said he will provide free updates for the tool.

GesturePak captures photos of gestures, loads the gesture files using the GesturePak programming interface and then handles events created when users perform a specific gesture. The toolkit comes with a set of prerecorded gestures, like hand waving, saluting, head nodding and more.

"Being able to recognize someone's gesture is something difficult to do, so people are doing it with a lot of coding, which is the complicated way," Franklin said.

Franklin, who also is the co-host of the ".Net Rocks!" podcast, said the target audience for GesturePak is anyone working with Kinect for Windows. The toolkit is suitable for hobbyists and children, too, he said, since it removes the need for complicated coding.

Speaking of Kinect for Windows, Microsoft officials recently touted work that Mattel, Gun Communications and Adaaptor have done using the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) to build the "Barbie the Dream Closet" app, which scales select Barbie outfits and allows users to "wear" them via the Kinect sensor.

Microsoft officials said recently they plan to release version 1.5 of Kinect for Windows in late May 2012. Microsoft delivered the 1.0 release in February 2012.

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