Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it will supply MIX11 developers with free Kinect devices.
Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s .NET Developer Platform, announced the news to excited audience members on Wednesday. Guthrie thanked developers and explained that Microsoft is excited about what the future holds for Kinect on Windows. Microsoft revealed earlier on Wednesday that it is planning to release a Kinect for Windows SDK on May 16. The SDK will give developers official access to a number of key Kinect features.
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.