Microsoft announced its Kinect for Windows SDK beta on Wednesday.
- 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 release a “second wave” of Kinect games in April according to recent rumors. Microsoft is also reportedly working on a Gears of War Kinect titletoo. 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.
Developers can sign-up for the Kinect for Windows SDK beta at Microsoft’s Research page, the SDK will be
available on May 16 available in Spring.
Update: Microsoft reached out to say that its Research team erroneously communicated that the Kinect for Windows Beta SDK would be released on May 16. “The Kinect for Windows Beta SDK will be released later this spring, as we have said previously and in today’s MIX keynote, but it will not be released May 16.”