If you look around for Kinect SDKs, you’ll find that there are at least three frameworks (OpenNI, CL-NUI, and the official PrimeSense NITE) to play with. For me, this is all too much to suss out, so I’m delighted to report that Microsoft Research will be releasing a non-commercial Kinect SDK in Spring 2011. 

Rob Knies at MSR gives us the skinny:

Ever since the November launch of Kinect for Xbox 360, enthusiasts and academic researchers alike have expressed their excitement and intense interest in the possibilities created by the product’s ability to enable users to bring games and entertainment to life without using a controller.

Kinect for Xbox 360 and the potential seen within its core technology have captured the imaginations of the academic research and enthusiast communities. To encourage and support that creativity, on Feb. 21, Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, and Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, announced that the company plans to release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research this spring.

“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,” said Mundie. “The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them.” …

Academics, Enthusiasts to Get Kinect SDK

I hope we get some nice Visual Studio integration, but whatever we get, I can hardly wait for Spring.