Official Kinect SDK coming to Windows

We’re huge fans of Microsoft’s Kinect device for Xbox 360, even if it is for the cool hacks you can come up with rather than the actual gameplay; but gamers seem to agree too, as it’s selling like hot cakes.

Last month we wrote about PrimeSense, the company that developed the Kinect tech and licensed it to Microsoft, who are planning to bring a Kinect-based PC sensor to market. Now, finally, Microsoft have announced that there will be an official Kinect SDK (Software Development Kit) coming to PCs in “Spring 2011”.

The Kinect for Windows SDK is being produced by Microsoft Research (MSR) and will be available for free – but only for hobbyists and academic researchers. The SDK is going to include support for the system-level APIs, sensor motor and LED control, as well as the ability to use the 4-microphone system built into the sensor. This expands on most current open-source community-developed drivers, which have as yet been unable to crack the complex communications required to receive audio from the device.

“Supporting this community and enabling creativity around natural user interfaces (NUI) is important to us, and our hope is that this SDK will ignite further creativity in an already vibrant ecosystem of enthusiasts” writes Steve Clayton of Microsoft.

We’ll be keeping an eye open for the SDK launch, and will be eagerly trying it out as soon as it lands.

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