Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Microsoft Kinect SDK Refresh

Kinect_thumb[5]The first public version of the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) beta was released on June 16, 2011. Since then, many developers and innovators started to experiment new natural user interface (NUI) leveraging the Kinect sensor. A few days ago a refreshed version of the SDK has been released: the community has provided Microsoft with a lot of good feedback, and this release addresses some of the top items.

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a non-commercial SDK which 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.

The refresh includes:

  • 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);
  • Many improvements to the documentation, including clarifications and the deletion of information pertaining to non-functional components;
  • Enhanced SDK samples

If you’re an academic researcher or an enthusiast who wants to take advantage of the latest developments in natural user interface experimentation, you can download the Kinect for Windows SDK beta refresh. A new refresh of the Kinect for Windows SDK beta is planned for release later this year.

Currently I’m supervising a Computer Science Master Degree thesis project which will bring a Kinect NUI to a home-automation device for elder and disabled people, based on Windows Embedded Standard 7. Stay tuned for updates on the project!

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