Reported June 16, 2011 on Lifehacker
Ready to use your voice and hands to control your PC? How about a virtual orchestra or a flying quadrocopter?
Microsoft Research this morning is officially expanding the Kinect motion sensor beyond its Xbox 360 game console to traditional Windows machines. The company is releasing a development kit that students, researchers and other noncommercial software developers can use to create Windows 7 programs that sense their surroundings and respond to voice commands and gestures.
The beta release of the free Kinect software development kit, or SDK, could fuel the grassroots Kinect applications that have until now been considered hacks. Microsoft says it’s also working on a version of the SDK for commercial software programs.
Over time, the move by Microsoft could help the motion sensor find a place in such settings as kitchens, doctor’s offices or auto repair shops, where grubby hands or sterile gloves make a keyboard and mouse difficult or undesirable to use.
Sounds like a golden opportunity for anyone interested in getting up to speed on this technology and programming environment. The dev kit is a 21-22Mb download, and is available in 32 and 64-bit versions.Note: this release is only for students, researchers, and non-commercial users. If you're planning a product, you'll have to wait for the commercial licensed version, which Microsoft has indicated is on its way.
From Microsoft's website:
The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a starter kit for applications developers that includes APIs, sample code, and drivers. This SDK enables the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich experiences by using Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect sensor technology on computers running Windows 7. Learn more >
The Kinect for Windows SDK beta includes the following:
* Drivers, for using Kinect sensor devices on a computer running Windows 7.
* Application programming interfaces (APIs) and device interfaces, together with technical documentation.
* Source code samples.
License and privacy statement
* Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research is for non-commercial use only. By installing, copying, or otherwise using this software, you agree to be bound by the terms of its license. Read the license.
* This beta software uses the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), which automatically sends to Microsoft information about your hardware and how you use this software. This information is not used to identify or contact you. Learn more.
Download and additional information is available from Microsoft here
Anybody can go "dancing with the stars..."
Now here's your chance to dance with Microsoft and Monkey-Boy Steve Ballmer!
Hmm...on second thought, maybe that's not such a good idea.