Microsoft Kinect SDK beta for Windows now available

The Xbox Kinect is a device the has the ability to change how we interact with not just the Xbox, but technology as a whole. The Kinect hacking scene has shown a glimpse of the possibilities for the platform and Microsoft took notice early on to the homebrew scene.

Because of all the extra attention the Kinect device has received outside of use for the Xbox 360, Microsoft has made an SDK available for the device for Windows. Microsoft states:

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a starter kit for applications developers that includes APIs, sample code, and drivers. This SDK enables the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich experiences by using Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect sensor technology on computers running Windows 7.

The SDK can be downloaded now from the Microsoft research page. The SDK comes in two flavors, 32-bit and 64-bit, each flavors weighs in at a little over 20MB.

With an official SDK now available to the general public, the possibilities for the new platform are limitless. This SDK opens the door to many developers and the possibilities for the new platform are not only exciting, but potentially revolutionary.

Download: Kinect SDK 32-bit

Download: Kinect SDK 64-bit

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23 Comments

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iKenndac said,
Yay! Finally Neowin and other tech outlets might stop calling software that uses the Kinect "hacks".
Because they were? I see your logic.

I hope PC game developers start making use of optional Kinect features like head-tracking in racing games, the Mass Effect 3 voice commands etc. I might pick one up of that happens.

What can 'Hackers' do now, what they couldn't already do themselves. Weren't they able to access all the features before.

True, but this way you get an official unified API that's well documented and supported versus working with third party code that may or may not always work. Who knows, may even wind up in the DirectX SDK as well one of these days. Plus with MS giving the green light, probably see some studio games supporting it eventually too. If I were developing for it, I'd rather work with the API from the people who actually built the thing versus trial-and-error from reverse engineering.

Hey Developers! Please add voice control to Windows Media Center specially for Music (play ... album, play ... artist, play ... genre, play, pause, stop music) and Tv/movies (pause tv/movie, play tv/movie, stop tv/move, change channel by voice, record..)..

Billy Gun said,
Hey Developers! Please add voice control to Windows Media Center specially for Music (play ... album, play ... artist, play ... genre, play, pause, stop music) and Tv/movies (pause tv/movie, play tv/movie, stop tv/move, change channel by voice, record..)..

If it means anything to you, I will be adding voice and, hopefully, hand motion abilities to my media app. http://www.blissgig.com/display.aspx?id=13

Yes, I am putting a plug for my app here, but it's free. And yes, I know that sometimes there is an error. That's why it's in beta. Now, I'm off to buy a Kinect.

James Rose said,

If it means anything to you, I will be adding voice and, hopefully, hand motion abilities to my media app. http://www.blissgig.com/display.aspx?id=13

Yes, I am putting a plug for my app here, but it's free. And yes, I know that sometimes there is an error. That's why it's in beta. Now, I'm off to buy a Kinect.

Will the voice commands be constantly misunderstood by background noise created by the TV/media content playing? That's always my fear about Kinect or any other voice command system.

andrewbares said,

Will the voice commands be constantly misunderstood by background noise created by the TV/media content playing? That's always my fear about Kinect or any other voice command system.

My understanding is that there is custom software within the Kinect to deal with this issue. After all the device is designed to be played with games that are making noise. I spent yesterday watching the launch of the sdk, which is in beta, and I will be reading up on the abilities of the device/sdk for the next few days. Next Tuesday I will buy a Kinect and start working with it. I promise to post details on my site, if you'd like to know more as I go along.

Peace,
James

GP007 said,
And MS just boosted Kinect sales all over again.

Indeed, I've been holding out too as I game on the PC primarily but tempted to get one now just to mess with it. Has some interesting potential for my one system upstairs on the bigscreen (no more remotes?), especially curious once Windows 8 is released with that new UI.

Jen Smith said,

Indeed, I've been holding out too as I game on the PC primarily but tempted to get one now just to mess with it. Has some interesting potential for my one system upstairs on the bigscreen (no more remotes?), especially curious once Windows 8 is released with that new UI.

Oh ya, I fully expect that Win8's UI will fully support the kinect when it goes RTM next year.

GP007 said,
Oh ya, I fully expect that Win8's UI will fully support the kinect when it goes RTM next year.

I'd be honestly surprised if it did, especially with the touch craze.. I was talking about writing up something myself to take advantage of it when on a big screen TV. But hey, if they do the work for me, that's fine by me too.

Biohead said,
Download links working fine here!

Nevermind, link is working for me now, not sure what the problem was, can't wait to try this out :-)!