We've seen quite a few Kinect hacks since the motion controller went on sale back in November, allowing users to control their computer with their hands and bodies and now Microsoft has announced an official SDK for Windows.
The Kinect was launched last November and has proven to be very popular among Xbox owners. And now, at its MIX2011 conference in Las Vegas, Microsoft has announced that it will be releasing an official SDK for Windows with the Beta release set for 16 May. It will allow developers to officially create programs for Windows 7 – though Microsoft says the SDK release is for non-commercial use “to enable experimentation in the world of natural user interface experiences, with new state-of-the-art features planned for future releases that will continue to provide new ways to experiment.”
Not only will the SDK give developers access to the colour and infrared cameras, but also “robust skeletal tracking” to determine the body positions of one or two individuals. Audio will also be catered for with access to the four-element microphone array and the speech recognition API. There will also be some sample code included to allow developers see exactly how to use the functionality in the SDK. You will be able to write Kinect apps for Windows 7 in C , C# and Visual Basic. Developers interested in getting updates and annonucements about the SDK can sign up here
The annoucement was hardly a surprise considering the growing number of hacks we’ve seen for Microsoft’s controller, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for Minority Report-style computer controlling to become mainstream.