With Microsoft’s official version of the Kinect’s SDK just around the corner, we thought it would be great if we can feature the SDK’s most probably features. It is no mystery that most of the Kinect community believe that the SDK will usher in a new wave of Kinect “hacks” that will make use of the device. To better prepare the aspiring programmers as well as existing Kinect users, we’re compiling all the known info about what we can expect from the SDK.

Taken from the Microsoft’s Kinect SDK website, the following have been promised and will most probably be included in the May 16 launch of the software development kit.

With this SDK, you’ll be able to take advantage of:

  • The latest advances in audio processing, which include a four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for crystal clear audio.
  • Sound source localization for beamforming, which enables the determination of a sound’s spatial location, enhancing reliability when integrated with the Microsoft speech recognition API.
  • Depth data, which provides the distance of an object from the Kinect camera, as well as the raw audio and image data, which together open up opportunities for creating richer natural user interface experiences.
  • Highly performant and robust skeletal tracking capabilities for determining the body positions of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view.
  • Documentation for the APIs and a description of the SDK architecture.
  • Sample code that demonstrates how to use the functionality in the SDK.

For one, the SDK promises to have compiled version of all necessary tools in exploiting the Kinect’s technology. This means that hackers will look no further to involve other toolkits aside from the one Microsoft will provide. Also, the SDK will feature a more stable and user-friendly directory/interface that will make it easier for developers to identify the tools needed for their research. Another good thing is that the design of the SDK will be open but this one is for the beta version. This should enable Microsoft to get the opinions of developers and their contributions. Though there is a strong possibility that the full SDK will not be released this May. As Microsoft reiterated, they will be releasing commercialized version of the SDK, one that requires a fee in order to own. We could expect then that we won’t be able to experience the full prowess of the SDK until the commercial version is released.

Here are our top 5 Reasons why we look forward to the SDK’s Release:

5. Increase in members and hacks - First and foremost, we’ll be seeing a massive inflow of Kinect hacks. With a more refined and friendly platform, Kinect hackers will grow in number and the quality and variety of programs that will be develop will grow in quality as well. We will also see more practical and brilliant hacks that will definitely blow the mind of corporate technology! More community members, more hacks, more programs that will change the world!

4. Microsoft’s Support – In the initial phase of Kinect Hacks, a lot of developers/hackers were afraid that their actions might be illegal as they were tampering with a licensed device. Easily uploading their exploits could give them criminal charges. With the announcement of the SDK as well as the promised release date, Microsoft is saying to the world of Kinect hackers, “Hey, we love the developments, we love what you’re doing, we approve it and we’re going to help you get better with it!” This act has given the developers all the confidence and support they need.

3. Glimpse of the Future – We’ve always imagined the future to have gesture-based, cloud-computing platforms and automated cars and robots. Well that so-called distant future might not be so far away as the basis and initial phases of these innovative breakthroughs have been made thanks to the Kinect. Now, we can get a good glimpse of what the future of technology has in store for us. Honestly, we’re looking forward to the service robots.

2. Fiction becomes Reality – A lot of imaginary features seen in movies or read in books are slowly crossing the border of fiction to reality. And when we mean fiction, we definitely mean those concepts that we didn’t believe we would see in our lifetime. Just check out the Kinect hacks that have catered to the sci-fi genre and also those who’ve made fictional characters a reality. With the Kinect, technology just gave another reason for the world to keep on believing, dreaming and achieving.

1. The achievements – Because (this might sound sentimental) but we’ve seen people grow, people take advantage of the technology give not only to make lives easier but also propel their own growth, their own ingenuity and potential to a whole new level. A little more than 5 months after the Kinect has been released, we’re seeing a massive influx of hacks and programs  that have already changed the way the present is lived and the future’s promises. Check the video above to see just how the Kinect has progressed in such a short time.

Nevertheless, the SDK is almost here! Subscribe to the Microsoft Kinect SDK website by signing up! Visit the website here.

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