To much anticipation, Microsoft has released the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research, a free beta release for noncommercial applications. The SDK will enable a growing community of developers, academic researchers, and roboticists to create new experiences that include depth sensing, human motion tracking, and voice and object recognition using Kinect technology on Windows 7.
For the release, Microsoft invited a group of developers to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, CA, and asked them to test the SDK in a 24-hour coding marathon (aka “Code Camp”). Working with the new toolkit and an array of hardware, developers are expected to build concept applications across a diverse range of scenarios, potentially including healthcare, science, and education.
The Kinect for Windows SDK includes drivers, 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.
Microsoft intends to release a commercial version of the SDK at a later date. The Kinect for Windows SDK can be downloaded free for development of noncommercial applications at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.