Microsoft has released the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) as a free beta release for noncommercial applications that will make use of the Kinect motion-sensing input device.
The SDK is targeted at developers in the first instance, of course but also to academic researchers with an interest depth sensing, human-motion tracking, and voice and object recognition using Kinect technology on Windows 7.
Microsoft intends to release a commercial version of the SDK at a later date. The company also states that developers working with the new toolkit are expected to build concept applications across a diverse range of scenarios including healthcare, science, and education.
"The Kinect for Windows SDK, which works with Windows 7, includes drivers, rich APIs for Raw Sensor Streams, natural user interfaces, installer documents, and resource materials. The SDK provides Kinect capabilities to developers building applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010," said said Anoop Gupta, distinguished scientist, Microsoft Research.
Kinect for Windows SDK features include:
- Raw Sensor Streams: Developers have access to raw data streams from depth sensor, color camera sensor, and the four-element microphone array. These will allow them to build upon the low-level streams generated by the Kinect sensor.
- Ease of installation: The SDK quickly installs in a standard way for Windows 7 with no complex configuration required and a complete installer size of less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit widely available at retail.
- Extensive documentation: The SDK includes more than 100 pages of high-quality technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation provides detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.