Microsoft Research Connections Blog

The Microsoft Research Connections blog shares stories of collaborations with computer scientists at academic and scientific institutions to advance technical innovations in computing, as well as related events, scholarships, and fellowships.

Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh Available

Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Refresh Available

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Kinect for Windows SDK beta refresh available for download

Interest in the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta, released on June 16, 2011, has been strong, and we’re delighted to learn that so many developers and innovators who are experimenting with natural user interface (NUI) applications have taken advantage of the SDK to explore the potential of the Kinect sensor.

In support of our commitment to encourage researchers and enthusiasts in their exploration of the exciting possibilities of the Kinect sensor, we have now released a refreshed version of the SDK. The community has provided us with a lot of good feedback, and this release addresses some of the top items you’ve told us about.

Before summarizing the updates, let’s quickly recap the key features of the Kinect for Windows SDK beta. This non-commercial SDK beta enables human motion tracking, voice recognition, and depth sensing on PCs, enabling developers to create innovative natural user interface applications. The SDK includes drivers and rich APIs for raw sensor streams and natural user interfaces, as well as installation documents and resource materials.

So, what’s in the refresh?

  • Driver enhancements: stability fixes to prevent crashes, including those that appear when a PC goes into sleep mode
  • Runtime enhancements: refinements to a number of APIs, improvements in time-stamping, and the removal of non-functional APIs to alleviate confusion (they will be reinserted if and when the functionality becomes available in future releases)

The refresh also includes many improvements to the documentation, including clarifications and the deletion of information pertaining to non-functional components. Also, the SDK samples have been enhanced.

If you’re an academic researcher or an enthusiast who wants to take advantage of the latest developments in natural user interface experimentation, we encourage you to learn more about and download the Kinect for Windows SDK beta refresh. We plan on releasing the next refresh of the Kinect for Windows SDK beta later this year (still with a non-commercial license).

Let us know what you think—as this refresh demonstrates, we’re committed to using your feedback to make the best possible SDK!

Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Connections

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  • Still Windows 7 only! Does Microsoft ever listen? Please provide XP and Vista support in the SDK. No other MS hardware is locked to Windows 7.

  • Thanks for your feedback and your interest in our SDK! Our current plans are to focus our development and testing on our currently shipping OS, Windows 7. The issue regarding which operating systems we support is being discussed on the “Windows XP/Vista Support” ( http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/kinectsdk/thread/cc371fef-1a8e-4c20-91cf-1ee8a78c02d6 ) thread in the Kinect for Windows SDK Forums. We value your comments as we plan future releases of the Kinect SDK.

  • Kinect for Windows SDK Beta Makes It Big in the Big Apple Kinect technologies received awards at recent events in New York City, where we demonstrated some of the potential uses of Kinect, Microsoft Robotics, and Microsoft .NET Gadgeteer, including natural

  • Chinese University Students Push the Boundaries of Kinect for Windows Participants in Microsoft Research Asia’s Kinect Pioneer Program have developed some truly remarkable Windows applications that take advantage of the Kinect sensor.

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