This last fall, we released Kinect for the Xbox 360. Kinect enables controller free games and entertainment on Xbox 360 utilizing a gesture-based Natural User Interface (NUI). My colleague Steve Clayton has been blogging a lot about NUI on the Next at Microsoft blog which I definitely recommend reading. Kinect has seen amazing success, becoming the fastest selling consumer electronics device. Since its release, enthusiasts and researchers have been exploring the capabilities of Kinect on Windows for non-gaming scenarios. Back in February, we announced that we would be delivering a non-commercial Software Development Kit (SDK) for Kinect for Windows. Today at MIX11, we demonstrated competing Kinect + Windows scenarios and revealed skeletal tracking, audio, and depth camera will be features of the Kinect for Windows SDK when it’s released later this fall.
During this morning’s keynote at MIX, Microsoft Research’s Jonathan Fay showed a demonstration of Kinect for Windows and the WorldWide Telescope. Being someone who is space nut, I was blown away by this demo. Being able to navigate the stars on your PC with Kinect is absolutely amazing.
UPDATE: Here is a clip of the Kinect + WorldWide Telescope demo from they keynote!
Several other demos were shown off as well including Jeff Sandquist and Dan Fernandez from Channel 9 demonstrating just how easy it is to make an app that leverages Kinect in Windows.
Kinect for Windows provides a way for developers to utilize NUI on the PC to create and explore entirely new ways of interacting with technology.
For more updates and information on the Kinect for Windows SDK, head on over to the Microsoft Research website. You can sign-up to be notified of the release here. The Kinect for Windows SDK is on track to hit later this spring. I also recommend reading Steve Clayton’s blog post here as he was able to see Kinect on the PC in action a few weeks ago at an on-campus event by Microsoft Research called TechFest. You can visit the MIX Virtual Pressroom for more on the latest from MIX11.