Kinect for Windows SDK – It’s Here!

Anticipation for the Kinect or Windows software development kit beta has been high, and we promised we’d launch before the end of spring.

Well, today is the day – at 10:00 a.m., the SDK will be available for free from Microsoft Research. The SDK includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time.

Back in February, we announced the intention to release an SDK, and at MIX11, we showed some of the projects that were already underway with the SDK inside and outside of Microsoft.

With the release of the SDK today, we’re looking forward to another wave of creativity from academic researchers, developers and enthusiasts as we bring natural user interface (NUI) development to everyone — in fields far beyond gaming and entertainment.

In fact, for the last 24 hours we’ve been holding a Code Camp here at our headquarters in Redmond where we challenged a select group of software developers to test the limits of their imaginations and show us what they could do with the SDK. With access to key pieces of the Kinect system — such as the audio technology, skeletal tracking system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor — they’ve created some truly remarkable projects in just one day.

Channel 9 is broadcasting live today, highlighting some of these amazing applications as well as providing in depth sessions on how to program on Windows using the SDK. You can also view the video and find more information about innovative new technologies at Microsoft on the Next in Tech newsroom.

This is only the beginning in our commitment to deliver an SDK to the community. Microsoft’s vision of the natural user interface is that interactions between people and computers will ultimately become invisible – computers will understand peoples’ gestures, listen for their voice commands, even interpret and respond to their expressions and inflections in voice.

In short, computers will become better equipped to anticipate what people want, and proactively address those wants, rather than passively awaiting commands. There is more to come, including a commercial SDK that is geared toward enabling independent software vendors (ISV’s) and businesses to develop commercial applications.

Oregon State University student Alex Wiggins gestures to Kinect, which in turn makes a remote-control toy helicopter take off while teammates Ruma Paul (left) and Fabio Matsui (right) look on. The trio was one of 50 people participating in Code Camp on Wednesday on Microsoft’s Redmond Campus. They had 24 hours to build something new using the new Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit.
Oregon State University student Alex Wiggins gestures to Kinect, which in turn makes a remote-control toy helicopter take off while teammates Ruma Paul (left) and Fabio Matsui (right) look on. The trio was one of 50 people participating in Code Camp on Wednesday on Microsoft’s Redmond Campus. They had 24 hours to build something new using the new Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit.

As Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, said – “As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale, the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing.”

We look forward to seeing what’s next with Kinect.

Those interested in the SDK will find community resources, general information and download links at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.

Posted by Steve Clayton
Editor, Next at Microsoft Blog