We’ve seen what people can do with Kinect. And with Microsoft making it official, the Kinect SDK for Windows will open up the world of possibilities outside of Kinect hackers who are ready to push out new apps, tools and games for PCs – and eventually XBox 360s.
The official SDK, set for beta on May 16th, will give would-be Kinect devs clean access to the bare-bones tech that saw the motion-sensing peripheral hit the Guinness books as the fastest selling consumer device of all time. “Robust skeletal tracking” has been Microsoft’s frequently touted headline feature of the SDK – which will allow tracking of one or two persons within the Kinect’s field of vision. The SDK will also allow developers to get full access to Kinect’s audio capabilities which includes “four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for great audio”.
The SDK will include a Windows speech recognition API called “beam formation” which tracks where the sound is coming from, along with full access to Kinect’s camera tech. Since the November launch, Kinect has played piano, found minority reports and become the eye of Sauron. Microsoft has also announced that it will be giving each of the developers at the MIX11 forum in Las Vegas a Kinect box to go away and create stuff with.
Developers can sign-up to be notified of the release of the Kinect for Windows SDK here.