Thursday, 14 April 2011 15:05

Kinect SDK koming soon

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A fair few people have been fiddling with the Kinect since it was launched, finding ways of putting it to work with hardware other than the Xbox 360. Microsoft is now preparing to release an official Kinect for Windows SDK.


It was obvious right from the start that the Microsoft's Kinect full body motion game controller wasn't going to be restricted to the Xbox 360 for ever. Enthusiasts quickly went to work unlocking the secrets of its interface.

And it's not all about games. As Kinect-on-Xbox capabilities show, there are plenty of things you can do in non-gaming scenarios, including the control of media players.

But a lot of the smarts are implemented as software on the host device, rather than inside the Kinect. Those looking to use it as a controller for Windows-based PCs will fid the task much easier in the next couple of months when Microsoft releases a beta of the Kinect for Windows SDK.

Supported functionality will include skeletal tracking for one or two people at a time (ie, the basic Kinect interactivity), access to the colour camera stream and the distance of objects from the camera, and audio input with echo and noise cancellation, beam formation to identify the sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.

"Microsoft's support for Kinect beyond the Xbox platform will increase opportunities for developers to explore new ideas and deliver innovative Kinect applications and experiences. A richer Kinect for Windows API will enable the creativity of these development communities to really come to life," said Robert Tuttle, chief architect, frog design. Frog has already developed a PC game using the Kinect.

Developers wishing to be notified of the release of the Kinect for Windows Beta SDK can sign up here.

 


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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