Microsoft has just released the official beta of the Kinect SDK for Windows 7. According to the website this SDK will work with all Windows 7 Dual-core computers (above a minimum system requirements, and requiring the Kinect sensor, obviously) and will allow for native and .Net coding using C++, C# or Visual Basic.
According to the Getting Started guide the SDK will enable developers to use the full potential of Kinect to build applications that take advantage of skeletal tracking with two people, audio recognition and a whole batch of Native and .Net APIs that allow for all sorts of cool features. The website is full of a lot of content about NUIs – Natural User Interfaces – that are designed for users to able to wave their arms around to use.
It does look like the SDK is quite cool and I am sure that in the next few weeks, if not days, there will be all sorts of fascinating applications emerging. It is no surprise that Microsoft has released the SDK, but I am glad that their website was always telling the truth: it was coming Spring 2011.
My Microsoft Research RSS feed has just told me that the Kinect SDK Beta for Windows 7 should be coming up soon, but the links are currently blank.
I’ve just found in Google Reader that there is going to be an important annoucement today on Channel 9 about Kinect Technology. You can watch it live from 9.30 AM PT through 2 PM PT on Channel 9. Could this be the long awaited Kinect SDK for Windows?
A while ago Microsoft announced that it would be releasing the Kinect SDK for Windows allowing developers to properly take advantage of Kinect so that they can build their own applications. The SDK is meant to be a great leap forward because developers are currently having to put up with half-finished SDKs built by hackers that can’t quite get to the full potential of Kinect, whereas Microsoft has promised that the official SDK will be able to reach all of the features of Kinect.
But Microsoft is being peculiar about this. There have been no updates to the Microsoft Research Kinect SDK Blog since mid-April and the site still says that the Kinect SDK will be released in Spring 2011, and by my calculations we only have 16 days of Spring left until Summer starts on June 21st. I find it peculiar that Microsoft aren’t giving any clues at when the SDK will be released because it will be of great use to them because it will mean that ‘official’ Windows Kinect apps might actually emerge – allowing us to properly develop with them.
The alternative could be that Microsoft after delaying the release until the BUILD conference in September when it is expected that the majority of Windows 8 features will be announced, and there is speculation that gestures are going to be a core part of Windows 8, potentially meaning that the Kinect SDK project is dead, and some sort of webcam/gesture project has taken over…