Microsoft has released the first official SDK for the Kinect sensor, allowing PC users to create their own programs that make use of the Xbox 360 sensor - despite having previously denied that it would do so.

The SDK, which was announced on Major Nelson's blog, includes drivers, APIs and some rudimentary documentation.

'The SDK enables the academic and enthusiast communities easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system,' says Microsoft.

The Kinect sensor includes microphones and cameras that allow it to track user movement and respond to voice commands.

Various hacked programs and mods have already been cobbled together for games such as Minecraft (pictured) and Garry's Mod, showing what the sensor should be capable of on PCs.

The Kinect SDK is available to download from Microsoft Research.

Check out our Kinect review for more information on the sensor, then let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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