In the spring of 2011 Microsoft will provide enthusiasts and academic researchers with the necessary tools to take its Kinect natural user interface technology well beyond gaming and entertainment.
Don Mattrick, president, Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) together with Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer announced the imminent availability of the Kinect for Windows SDK.
Although a specific release deadline wasn’t provided, the software giant indicated that the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit will be offered soon.
According to the Redmond company, the Kinect for Windows SDK comes as a response from the feedback and interest received following the introduction of the NUI sensor for the Xbox 360 console in November 2010.
The Kinect for Windows SDK will be free to use, but only in non-commercial projects, Microsoft underlined.
“Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” Mundie explained.
“The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them.”
Developers, be them enthusiast or researchers, will have access to key aspects of Kinect, including audio, system APIs (application programming interfaces). The SDK will also enable them to control the Kinect sensor directly.
Following the launch of the free non-commercial flavor of Kinect for Windows SDK, Microsoft also plans to release a commercial version of the resource in order to fuel new rich natural user interfaces capable of leveraging the technology.
“Supporting this community and enabling creativity around natural user interfaces (NUI) is important to us, and our hope is that this SDK will ignite further creativity in an already vibrant ecosystem of enthusiasts.
“We are very excited by this announcement. Not only does it showcase our investment in this important technology trend, but it ensures that people have the tools they desire to revolutionize how people interact with technology,” revealed Microsoft’s Steve Clayton.