Kinect for Windows SDK beta due this week?

By Tom Warren, on 16th May 11 10:45 am with 10 Comments

Kinect plugged into a Windows 7 PC

Microsoft is expected to launch its Kinect for Windows SDK beta this week.

The software giant will likely announce a release of the beta SDK on Monday, to allow developers to use its Kinect sensor on Windows. Third-party developers will be able to officially create applications that utilize the Kinect sensor on Windows PCs. Microsoft previously promised the SDK in “Spring” after accidentally revealing it would launch on May 16. WinRumors understands that the company is likely to release the first beta at Tech-Ed this week.

Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows SDK beta will include the following support:

  • Robust Skeletal Tracking for high-performance capabilities that track the skeleton image of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view
  • Advanced Audio Capabilities, including four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for great audio; beam formation to identify the current sound source and integration with the Windows speech recognition API also included
  • XYZ depth camera for standard color camera stream access and depth data that indicates the distance of the object from the Kinect camera

Microsoft’s Kinect sensor has been a phenomenal success story for the company. The console accessory sold out across a number of retailers during the recent festive season and Microsoft smashed its own estimates of 5 million units in 2010 by shipping 10 million devices. Microsoft’s Kinect accessory has also broken a Guinness World Record. Guinness World Records has officially named Kinect for Xbox 360 the fastest-selling consumer electronics device, which sold an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010 and January 3, 2011. Microsoft is currently working on four new Kinect titles for release in 2011. The software maker is expected to unveil a number of new Kinect titles at E3 in June. Microsoft is also reportedly working on a Gears of War Kinect title too. The device is now available at more than 60,000 retailers in 38 countries.

Microsoft launched its controller-less console accessory for the Xbox 360 across the world in November. The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar that sits at the base of your TV. The device has an RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone which runs proprietary software. Kinect allows for full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition. Owners will be able to interact with games titles using just their body. Pausing TV and fast forwarding movies can be achieved using a mix of hand movements and voice control.

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

     Cant wait, who needs a crappy web cam anymore…..I’ll use my KINECT instead…….OVERKILL ! !

  • Anonymous

     Will I be able to develop my own Kinect applications in my spare time without having to pay some kind of “developer fee”? (sorry for bad english)

    • http://twitter.com/hazardousideas Paul

      yup, free for non-commercial usage!!! 

    • http://twitter.com/hazardousideas Paul

      yup, free for non-commercial usage!!! 

    • Anonymous

      Ok, thanks! I saw the keynotes on MIX11 and when I saw how incredibly easy it is to create simple Kinect apps in Visual Basic, I got extremely interested.

      I can’t wait to write my own painting app and let the kids play and paint without messing with real paint of the floor and walls LOL

    • Mister Twister

       Its going to be a sdk for people to just create cool stuff with. I doubt they would make us pay for it.

    • Mister Twister

       Its going to be a sdk for people to just create cool stuff with. I doubt they would make us pay for it.

    • Mister Twister

       Its going to be a sdk for people to just create cool stuff with. I doubt they would make us pay for it.

  • Asdf

    I’m thinking the SDK will be released at E3 in June.  It would be nice to release it this week, though. 

  • Greg

    Does this mean we could use the speech recognition in the Kinect API in a Windows Phone application without using the Kinect device?