Microsoft is preparing to release its Kinect for Windows SDK beta, WinRumors has learned.
The software giant will unveil its plans for the forthcoming Kinect for Windows SDK beta at MIX11 this week. According to sources familiar with the company’s plans, Microsoft will announce the beta availability on Wednesday April 13. WinRumors previously exclusively revealed that the software giant was planning its own SDK amid a growing community of “Kinect hackers”. Microsoft officials confirmed the existence of the Windows based Kinect SDK during a special press event in February. Microsoft’s Don Mattrick, president of the company’s interactive business division said the software maker will ship the SDK in the Spring. The beta is on schedule and will likely be made available on Wednesday.
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 title too. The device is now available at more than 60,000 retailers in 38 countries.
Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows SDK beta will allow third-party developers to officially create applications that utilize the Kinect sensor on Windows PCs. The company has yet to detail the SDK features but WinRumors understands Joe Belfiore and Scott Guthrie will both announce the beta during a keynote at MIX11 on Wednesday. Microsoft’s Larry Hryb (majornelson) may even be on hand at the event, after confirming his presence in Las Vegas on Twitter this week.
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.