Christmas has come early for the Kinect community as Microsoft has now pledged its full support to the creative minds behind custom Kinect programs. The software giant, Microsoft, have announced today that it will officially launch an SDK (Software Development Kit) for the Kinect this March. This means that developers, Kinect enthusiasts and the academe will be provided with a development kit to further utilize the Kinect and to also create and further develop user-made Kinect programs.

“We think we’re going to see a huge explosion in interest,” said Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, “We welcome that and will support it.”

Microsoft initially had an ambiguous stand with regard to the “hacks” of Kinect’s community. But this announcement revealed that Microsoft “fully support” the people’s interest to custom-made Kinect programs and will provide assistance to the developers. This is a welcome step of Microsoft towards transcending the Kinect’s purpose beyond gaming. Now that the makers of the innovative product has pledged its support, the Kinect community now has the blessings (and means) to capitalize on the Kinect’s technology.

Report has it that there will be 2 versions of the Kinect’s SDK. First will be a non-commercial version, primarily catered to give users the ability to further experiment on the Kinect and develop programs for home or academic use. The other one will be a commercialized version which grants the users features that can help them sell or exploit their work.

Here is an official statement from Microsoft:

“Today, Microsoft announced it will release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit from Microsoft Research later this spring. The intent of releasing a “starter kit” for application developers is to make it easier for academic research and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology.

“The Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research is being developed and released by Microsoft Research (MSR) in collaboration with the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) to support a growing community of academic researchers and enthusiasts who are exploring potential applications built using Kinect.

“The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor.  Microsoft will deliver a commercial version of the SDK later. There are no further details to share at this time.

“Microsoft has deep investments in R&D in natural user interfaces (NUI). NUI is part of the company’s long term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us. The fruits of those investments manifesting across many of Microsoft’s products, including Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator.

“This announcement of the Microsoft Kinect for Windows SDK reflects Microsoft’s desire to unleash the magic of the NUI technology to a broader set of academic researchers and the enthusiasts by  empowering them with the tools to create exciting applications with the use of Kinect technology.”

With this assurance of support and the promise of more means to create innovative programs, the Kinect Community will no doubt embrace this announcement. This will indeed fuel the drive of many developers and we may just see the dawn of a new age of innovation and a tidal wave of exciting programs. More than ever, you have to stay tuned here in for the latest Kinect programs out there.


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