K4Wbeta

You know you want it. Ever since the Kinect was announced back when it was code-named Project Natal you know you were thinking “I could do cool things with that device.” Maybe you have been playing with the unofficial SDF for a while as well. But you know that for serious educational or research purposes you want a supported software development kit. You know, something with documentation and sample code. Well at MIX 11 this week Microsoft showed off some of what the supported SDK is going to be capable of. The people at Channel 9 showed off some demos of Kinect for Windows. The following video is about 20 minutes long and you want to watch it all. There is a mix of the serious – using the Kinect to help the blind navigate and soaring through the universe with the Worldwide Telescope. And the not so serious. Some simple games and a Kinect controlled robotic reclining chair. The chair was built my my friend the amazing Clint Rutkas BTW. If this doesn’t get you started thinking “How can I use Kinect projects to get students doing exciting and interesting things?” I don’t know what will.

You can got to http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk now and subscribe to the RSS feed for the latest news on the Kinect For Windows SDK. I’m signed up and looking forward to it. but of course you want more information now. From the Microsoft Research Connections blog here are some details:

Here are a few details on each of the SDK's ground-breaking NUI features:

  • Robust skeletal tracking will provide high-performance capabilities for tracking the skeletal image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view.
  • Advanced audio will enable great sound capabilities by using a four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation. The advanced audio will also include beam formation to identify the sound source and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
  • XYZ depth camera will provide a standard color camera stream along with depth data indicating the distance of the object from the Kinect camera. This will give developers access to the raw data and enable the creation of novel interfaces by using the unaltered data.

And of course there will be

  • Documentation for the APIs and a description of the SDK architecture.
  • Sample code that demonstrates how to use the functionality in the SDK.

This SDK is intended for non-commercial use to enable experimentation in the world of natural user interface experiences, with new state-of-the-art features planned for future releases that will continue to provide new ways to experiment.