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Microsoft announces Kinect SDK with PC compatibility

Microsoft announces Kinect SDK with PC compatibility

The free Kinect SDK is likely to inspire a whole raft of new homebrew applications and games.

In a U-turn so big it could probably be seen from space, Microsoft last night announced the release of a Kinect developers’ kit that brings support for the popular Xbox 360 peripheral to the PC.

The move comes as something of a surprise, given that only last month Microsoft categorically stated that 'there are no plans to take it anywhere beyond the Xbox 360 platform.'

The decision could well be a result of the large homebrew scene that has cropped up around Kinect, which Microsoft doesn't seem able to curtail.

The controller has been put to a myriad of uses by the hacking community, with everything from educational augmented reality programs to bizarre 3D painting games available online.

Microsoft has been a little coy about how it will be releasing the SDK, however. The announcement from Microsoft Research is titled 'Academics, Enthusiasts to Get Kinect SDK,' implying that it's only going to be available for select groups of people, rather than offered up as a free-for-all download on its website.

What's clear from the statement, though, is that the version to be released this spring is only seen by Microsoft as a 'starter kit,' with a full commercial version planned for a later date. We’re not entirely sure what the commercial version of the SDK will add apart from a price tag, though, as Microsoft states that the starter kit will come complete with ‘access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor.'

Are you a part of the Kinect homebrew scene? Does the idea of being able to use the controller on your PC excite you? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

15 Comments

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Snips 22nd February 2011, 13:24 Quote
Smart move by Microsoft! I wonder when will Windows 7 automatically detect that Kinect is connected?
mjm25 22nd February 2011, 13:31 Quote
select groups of people... And anyone on a torrent site! :D haha
DriftCarl 22nd February 2011, 13:41 Quote
if I am honest, I might actually buy a kinect if it is supported on PC for the interface of W7 and also some games.
I dont have a console as I am sure alot of other PC gamers dont, so they are opening their device up to a brand new market sector with no real competition in terms of whole body game pads
V3ctor 22nd February 2011, 13:53 Quote
At last... Now I can draw in Paint... Thanks MS
Bluephoenix 22nd February 2011, 14:27 Quote
this is a good move for microsoft and the PC community as a whole.

motion-tracking camera systems have been around for years, but have always been rediculously expensive, or cobbled together, or both. kinect will give a (relatively) low-cost solution to some existing problems. as well as create new ideas and opportunities.


personally, I can't wait to see whats up with it so I can turn my projector-wall into a gesture-driven powerwall :D
Snips 22nd February 2011, 14:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
personally, I can't wait to see whats up with it so I can turn my projector-wall into a gesture-driven powerwall :D

Sorry, my dyslexia first lead me to think you wrote "I can turn my projector-wall into a gesture-driven Pornowall"

Right I'm gonna Patent that as of right now I own the rights to all your pornowalls and just to piss Apple off, I'm gonna call it iPorn.
murraynt 22nd February 2011, 14:54 Quote
Very slick move from MS. Look at the amount of apps and games that will be made by the PC community. MS can tap directly into this.
Bauul 22nd February 2011, 14:59 Quote
According to the BBC the Startup SDK is designed for free-to-use applications - no one is allowed to charge anything for anything they make until the Commercial SDK is released.

Smart move - Microsoft can keep tabs on what gets created whilst it encourages creative thinking in the early days.
Malvolio 22nd February 2011, 16:51 Quote
The first thing that came to mind when I read the title was the little tantrum Sony has thrown in wake of the PS3 being fiddled with. Microsoft has seen that it's customer base isn't something to be distrusted and kept at arms length (in this instance, anyway), which is refreshing to say the least. I am rather eager to see what people can make that little camera do!
Kiytan 22nd February 2011, 18:08 Quote
Good move.
schmidtbag 22nd February 2011, 18:37 Quote
as much as this is a good move, if i were a kinect developer i would not use their sdk, its probably going to be really bloated and full of useless/unnecessary code like all of their developmental stuff.
Th3Maverick 22nd February 2011, 19:08 Quote
Quote:
We’re not entirely sure what the commercial version of the SDK will add apart from a price tag, though, as Microsoft states that the starter kit will come complete...

Honestly, probably a more robust development environment, kinda like VS Express versus VS Pro. I gotta say, one thing MS has consistently gotten right (esp w/2010) is Visual Studio.
l3v1ck 22nd February 2011, 22:03 Quote
I've always wondered why MS objected to this in the first place.
People would still be paying money for MS hardware on a (mainly) MS OS.
Repo 23rd February 2011, 01:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Sorry, my dyslexia first lead me to think you wrote "I can turn my projector-wall into a gesture-driven Pornowall
That may well happen too!
leexgx 24th February 2011, 05:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
According to the BBC the Startup SDK is designed for free-to-use applications - no one is allowed to charge anything for anything they make until the Commercial SDK is released.

Smart move - Microsoft can keep tabs on what gets created whilst it encourages creative thinking in the early days.
what if they did not use MS SDK to make the program as there is an fully working driver and software out there (as long as you know what you are doing)
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