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Microsoft today announced a new Software Development Kit for its Kinect hardware allowing developers to bring Kinect-controlled applications to Windows.

The new SDK will be available in Spring, with interested developers able to sign up now via the MS Research page.

Kinect’s Windows SDK features:

  • The latest advances in audio processing, which include a four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for crystal clear audio.
  • Sound source localization for beam forming, which enables the determination of a sound’s spatial location, enhancing reliability when integrated with the Microsoft speech recognition API.
  • Depth data, which provides the distance of an object from the Kinect camera, as well as the raw audio and image data, which together open up opportunities for creating richer natural user interface experiences.
  • Highly performant and robust skeletal tracking capabilities for determining the body positions of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view.
  • Documentation for the APIs and a description of the SDK architecture.
  • Sample code that demonstrates how to use the functionality in the SDK.

Microsoft’s Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360 has already been a huge success for the company, with the hardware breaking sales records. Now Microsoft is looking to bring the power of controller-less gaming to Windows, with motion-controlled apps a possibility.

While there’s no guarantee this new SDK will bring forth a new era in computing, it’s certainly more likely now Kinect’s hardware prowess can be harnessed.

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