Less than a week ago, Microsoft announced plans for a Kinect SDK sometime in Spring 2011. Today, Belgian 3D interface company SoftKinetic has launched version 2.8 of its own free SDK. It's not just for the Kinect, and it comes with the following features:

  • Support for all 3D cameras
  • iisu Interaction Designer: an easy-to-use tool allowing game and application designers to prototype and rapidly develop gestures for their applications
  • New iisu Action Pack: a solid set of out-of-the-box gestures for the development of most gesture-based games and application interactions
  • Updated plug-ins for Unity 3D and Flash with even stronger integration and samples
  • iisu now also available on current and next generation set-top boxes

SoftKinetic plans to provide a non-commercial version of their product for free to qualified developers. The company has been working on the technology for eight years, and iisu now recognizes full body gestures and movements in real-time, capturing motion via a single 3D depth-sensing camera. A demo of iisu 2.8 will be available at this year's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco (March 2 to March 4) in a private meeting room on the show floor.

"SoftKinetic has long been a pioneer in gesture recognition, and we want to expand the community of developers able to access to our professional tools and technology," Eric Krzeslo, Chief Strategy Officer of SoftKinetic, said in a statement. "We believe that opening up our cross-platform, multi-camera software to a broader community will enhance productivity and creativity, and we cannot wait to see the incredible innovations that emerge as a result."