Microsoft has released 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta.
The Kinect is a horizontal camera that sits at the base of your TV. The device contains an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone which runs proprietary software.
Kinect allows for full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition. Owners will be able to interact with games titles using just their body. Pausing TV and fast forwarding movies can be achieved using a mix of hand movements and voice control.
The SDK includes APIs, sample code, and drivers. It’s aimed at academic research and enthusiast communities to create new experiences using Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 accessory.
The SDK supports the following:
- Robust Skeletal Tracking for high-performance capabilities that track the skeleton image of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view
- Advanced Audio Capabilities, including four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for great audio; beam formation to identify the current sound source and integration with the Windows speech recognition API also included
- XYZ depth camera for standard color camera stream access and depth data that indicates the distance of the object from the Kinect camera
Microsoft also launched an MSDN forum especially for the new SDK beta.
Microsoft’s Kinect sensor has been a success story for the company selling out across the country and selling 10 million units (5 million more than expected).
The Guinness World Records has officially named Kinect for Xbox 360 as the fastest-selling consumer electronics device, which sold an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010 and January 3, 2011.
What’s really exciting to me is the potential that the Kinect has for full Windows 8 integration. I am betting based on my sources that the Kinect 2 will be a similar device with a smaller form factor that will be more appropriate as a desktop device.
The combination of a Kinect 2 and Windows 8 could be an explosive game chnager when Windows 8 is launched.