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Anticipation for the Kinect or Windows software development kit beta has been high from the UK Academic community.

The SDK now available for free from Microsoft Research. The SDK includes not only drivers but also APIs, device interfaces, installer documents and resource materials. It’s another exciting milestone for a technology that has captured the imagination of millions, and has become the fastest selling computer electronics device of all time.

With the release of the SDK today, we’re looking forward to another wave of creativity from academic researchers community in the UK.

As part of the Channel9 Launch event, Microsoft has been holding a Code Camp where a select group of software developers were challenged to test the limits of their imaginations and show what they could do with audio technology, skeletal tracking system application programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor. Channel 9 is broadcasting live today, highlighting some of these amazing applications as well as providing in depth sessions on how to program on Windows using the SDK.

The beta SDK is only the beginning! Microsoft’s vision of the natural user interface is that interactions between people and computers will ultimately become invisible, computers will understand gestures, voice commands and respond to facial expressions.

As Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer, said – “As breakthrough technologies like these reach scale, the resulting creativity and invention will open up a whole new world of possibilities for computing.” There is more to come, including a commercial SDK that is geared toward enabling independent software vendors (ISV’s) and businesses to develop commercial applications.

We look forward to seeing what’s next with Kinect and getting your feedback and input so if your a UK academic we would love to hear from you.

Those interested in the SDK will find community resources, general information and download links at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.