Microsoft releases Kinect for Windows SDK


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Microsoft released a new Kinect for Windows software development kit on Thursday that works with the company’s Windows 7 operating system.

The new Kinect for Windows SDK offers developers a set of tools to build applications and games for PCs using Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing controller, which launched for the Xbox 360 gaming console last November and has sold more than 10 million units so far.


‘The Kinect for Windows SDK opens up a world of possibilities to developers,’ said Anoop Gupta, an engineer at Microsoft Research, in a statement. ‘We can’t wait to see what this community will create as we work together to build more natural, intuitive computing experiences.’

The developer SDK, which can be downloaded for free, follows Microsoft’s February release of a Kinect for Windows SDK to academics, which also enabled the camera-equipped device to be used with PCs.

Already, some have used the Kinect to build various programs controlled by motion gestures and voice commands -- and the Kinect has been hacked for PC gaming and a few non-Microsoft-approved apps.

Microsoft said on its Kinect for Windows website that the new ‘SDK is designed for non-commercial purposes only,’ and that a commercial version is on the way.

At E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, in Los Angeles last week, Microsoft pitched Kinect as a device useful to hard-core gamers. So far, the device has been used mostly for family-minded and group gaming.

Both efforts, with Kinect for Windows and core gamers, are attempts by Microsoft to broaden the appeal of the Kinect, and of hands-free motion control in its products.



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Microsoft to open up motion-sensing Kinect to developers, academics via SDK release

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles