Kinect for Windows commercial SDK launching early 2012

By on October 31, 2011, 3:00 PM

Microsoft made the Kinect for Windows SDK beta available for download earlier this year, enabling programmers to create applications for PCs utilizing motion-sensing technology. Although that release involved a non-commercial version of the SDK targeted at academics, enthusiasts, and researchers willing to give their programs away for free, the company has now said it will open up its peripheral for commercial, third-party applications early 2012.

Currently, more than 200 businesses worldwide -- including Toyota, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Razorfish -- are already part of a Kinect for Windows pilot program launched last year that focuses on exploring business usage of the Kinect sensor. The majority of these companies have opted to keep their names hidden for now for competitive reasons, but Microsoft is reportedly working with them to get their apps up and running as soon as possible.

Healthcare is one of the areas where there's been a lot of early experimentation with Kinect's potential applicability. Spanish technology group Tedesys, for example, has linked Kinect to a PC and monitor to allow surgeons to "wave their way through patient records on screen during operations," the Financial Times notes. The video below highlights this and other potential uses for Kinect beyond gaming, in what Microsoft is calling the Kinect effect.

Interestingly, although Microsoft's motion controller quickly became a best seller after it's November 2010 launch, it hasn't made big strides in gaming due to a lack of attractive software titles. But if developers in other fields embrace Kinect, it could shape the future of interacting with technology and the financial potential for Microsoft would be huge.

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta runs on Windows 7 and gives users full access to everything the peripheral has to offer, from the VGA and depth-sensing cameras to skeletal tracking and audio elements that are integrated directly with Microsoft’s Speech API (SAPI). Microsoft hasn't mentioned anything about Kinect running on its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at this point, but it would only make sense for the technology to be supported there as well.




User Comments: 8

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ikesmasher said:

motion capture for indie developers anyone?

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Saying that I'm really excited about this would be an understatement, but I'm really f***ing excited about this!

Guest said:

Imagine the day when all computers and mobile devices have internet and video cameras with motion detection, how would you be able to know if someone wasn't watching and tracking you literally all the time...?

Not to mention face recognition, gps, and other tracking technologies built in..and thats just the stuff that we know about?

Mudvayne819 said:

Guest said:

Imagine the day when all computers and mobile devices have internet and video cameras with motion detection, how would you be able to know if someone wasn't watching and tracking you literally all the time...?

Not to mention face recognition, gps, and other tracking technologies built in..and thats just the stuff that we know about?

thats the future and the price to pay for it, just like in every futuristic movies, everything is very high tech and secure, high-end high tech comes with massive security. thats how it is bro

StrayEagle said:

Guest said:

Imagine the day when all computers and mobile devices have internet and video cameras with motion detection, how would you be able to know if someone wasn't watching and tracking you literally all the time...?

Not to mention face recognition, gps, and other tracking technologies built in..and thats just the stuff that we know about?

I feel safe in the knoledge that 99.99999999999999% of people wont give a dam about what im doing at any point in time. And i don't even care if they do. It's not like i do anything interesting.

StrayEagle said:

Hell, almost everything you do on the net is tracked in one form or another already. Whats the difference if they move it offline. (more then they already have)

aj_the_kidd said:

Guest said:

Imagine the day when all computers and mobile devices have internet and video cameras with motion detection, how would you be able to know if someone wasn't watching and tracking you literally all the time...?

Not to mention face recognition, gps, and other tracking technologies built in..and thats just the stuff that we know about?

You could always become Amish if you think that helps

Guest said:

More than half of that video was unrealistic. Playing a virtual instrument with precision? And the school kid doing what now with DNA? But interesting concepts and ideas.

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