Microsoft announces plans for Kinect SDK

By on February 22, 2011, 2:34 AM
When the Kinect first launched back in November it took the hacking community mere hours to develop unofficial PC drivers and start toying with numerous alternative uses for the device, showing off stuff like Minority Report-style interfaces and holographic video chat. Microsoft was not amused at first but quickly came to realize that Kinect hacking was a good thing and promised not to take legal action against those who use it for more than just basic gaming.

Now the company is taking it a step further announcing plans to release an official Kinect software development kit this spring. According to Microsoft, it's part of their research wing's strategy to embrace developers and make it "easier for academic research and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology." The first SDK version is slated for late June and is being offered only to volunteers willing to give their programs away for free.

This non-commercial "starter version" SDK will give users access to Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor. Microsoft says it plans to release a commercial version later for people who want to sell their apps but declined to provide a time frame.

It's interesting to see Microsoft courting hackers and independent developers at the same time as Sony is suing them in court, though in all fairness the implications of releasing the PS3 root key into the wild were quite different.

User Comments: 7

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nismo91 said:

i sold my kinect and xbox because no more new games are coming out. so well, they should allow the hacking communities so that many new things are coming.

andy06shake said:

"i sold my kinect and xbox because no more new games are coming out. " I think you might find there will be lots of Kinect games out this year. Maybe even i few for the PC!!! I would have held on to it mate!

BlindObject said:

Still got mine. Patiently waiting for the porn simulation game.

Lurker101 said:

Illusion already have a pornographic game out which utilizes webcams. It wasn't that great but it's step in this direction and probably a precursor to kinect games

miska_man said:

I'm really in support of Microsoft now. They made a good move by supporting the hackers instead of going against them. Playstation on the other hand...used to like them, different story now.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

this is what hackers should do, enhance a system, not corrupt it. good examples like using the kinnect, the different controllers with the PC, i even agree to some extent with emulation on the PC as long as the software support ONLY original versions.

I don't own an Xbox360, but was interested with kinnect, yet i can see its limits on the console while on PC, can be used for more stuffs than casual gaming, i guess i'll own the kinnect some day then :P

as for the statement about SONY suing the hackers, i guess it's a tentative to make the debate hot again, well as usual ... it has nothing to do, not same context, for here not using to really enhance the system, but to promote misuse in terms of cheating & piracy. if a hacker brought the MOVE to the PC like they already did with kinnect & the WII-mote, i will find it a cool way to show their knowledge & creativity, even if not original. If a hacker can use the code to port games from PC/Xbox or any other platform (original games emulation ONLY) to the PS3 of to any other platform, it is still good for software sale even if somewhat illegal.

MS doing the right MOVE here, pun intended :P ... yet they are not really dealing with same category of hackers.


nismo91 said:

i might buy the kinect again if it is useful enough for use in PC. the only thing it needs is shorter recognition distance (if not standing up) for hand gesture recognition. it was fun while it lasted. those who are new to kinect, do try it, it's pretty nice.

"i sold my kinect and xbox because no more new games are coming out. " I think you might find there will be lots of Kinect games out this year. Maybe even i few for the PC!!! I would have held on to it mate!

yeah, i probably should just keep it. but seeing as my friends and family are getting really busy, i find it boring for me to play alone. so yeah, decided to let it go..

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