Microsoft to Release Official SDK To Allow Third Parties to Develop Apps For Kinect

Written By Sam on 18 January 2011

When Microsoft introduced the Xbox gaming system with the Kinect to go along with it, little did it dream of the various apps to which the Kinect would be used, not connected with the gaming system. Hackers are an innovative lot and have come up with unexpected and novel ways to use the Kinect.

Now, it seems Microsoft has taken cognizance of the possibilities of the Kinect and is likely to release an official Software Development Kit (SDK) to permit 3rd parties to develop Windows based software that will utilize Kinect controls and sensor when plugged into a PC. The Kinect uses a webcam style add on for the Xbox 360 through which the users can interact and control without the need of a game controller, simply through gestures and spoken commands. Porting such features to a PC would open up new vistas. One company which contributed key technologies to Microsoft towards the Kinect development announced a partnership with ASUS to bring this functionality to the PC soon.

Not surprisingly the SDK will come with a beta tag and we will see upgraded versions in the future from Microsoft which seems to have responded with alacrity to developments to take advantage of the possibilities of Kinect features over a wide spectrum of applications linked to the PC. This is a logical development and a smart move that offers greater scope for the future.

When Kinect was first released (Nov 2010) it outsold the iPad by twice the margin and hackers were quick to see the opportunities of this device and one of the results is the ability to control the World of Warcraft through one’s whole body movements.

The sensor of this device is a horizontal bar connected with a motorized pivot to a small base, positioned lengthwise above or below the video display. It has a camera, depth sensor and multi array mic, all operating on a proprietary software which combine to permit full body 3D motion capture, facial recognition and voice recognition capabilities. When merged with the power of the PC the applications foreseeable would be stupendous. It will probably feature as standard in windows 8 and will revolutionise the way one uses the PC and all connected apps, and also most devices we use at home and industry.

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