Microsoft releases Kinect for Windows SDK beta

Microsoft releases Kinect for Windows SDK beta

Summary: The Kinect SDK for Windows 7 lets you plug a standard XBox Kinect sensor unit into your PC and use it to develop unique motion-driven games and applications.


Kinect is *the* hot item for the XBox 360, and today Microsoft released a toolkit that will enable developers to take advantage of the motion sensing controller in Windows 7 as well. The Kinect for Windows SDK beta includes the following features:

  • Raw sensor streams - Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
  • Skeletal tracking - The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
  • Advanced audio capabilities - Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.

Until now developers had to resort to unofficial hacks to access the sensors on Windows and other operating systems. The new SDK officially provides Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).

The SDK is available for download today. Currently, it can only be used for non-commercial purposes but Microsoft says a commercial version will be released later.

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Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • Wow no support for HTML5/JS?

    So much for writing immerse Win8 APPs in HTML5/Javascript.
    • RE: Microsoft releases Kinect for Windows SDK beta

      @LBiege <br>Read the whole article... <br>This is SDK for Windows 7. <br>There's no Windows 8 SDK yet what makes you think it's for Windows 8?
    • Worse, did you see the specs?

      @LBiege I'm sticking with the 3rd party stuff, I'd have to seriously upgrade my dev machine just to run it.

      Cmon MS, whats the deal? I can see needing a hot machine to run the framework and a game on top, but most of the development will be aimed at control systems that wont have and dont need all the bells and whistles.
      OpenKinect runs happily on a 1Ghz AMD...
  • RE: Microsoft releases Kinect for Windows SDK beta

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