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September 10, 2012

Kinect for Windows Update: Interview with Rob Relyea

A while back, I decided it was time to get my hands dirty with the Kinect for Windows 1.5 SDK (see Tapping Into the Power of Kinect for Windows). It was a fun project, and a great way to get started with Kinect for Windows.

Here’s a high-level view of what’s already in 1.5 version of the Kinect SDK:

  • RGB camera data (image data)
  • Depth camera data
  • Audio data (including direction) and speech recognition
  • Enhanced skeletal tracking, including seated mode skeletal tracking
  • Kinect Studio, to record, playback, and debug Kinect data
  • Facial tracking capabilities

Since the release of version 1.5 last May, the Kinect for Windows team has been hard at work providing more functionality to developers. Their recent blog post disclosed some of the new features that will be available in the next version.

To summarize, the following small set of features (there will be more!) have been announced for the upcoming Kinect for Windows update on 10/08/2012:

  • Hardware availability in additional countries (launching in China on October 8 and increasing to a total to 38 in coming months)
  • SDK enhancements:
  • Extended depth data (from 4 meters max to about 10 meters max)
  • Color camera settings (including white balance and auto exposure)
  • Windows 8 desktop support and Visual Studio 2012 support

Note that existing v1.5 projects (source code and binaries) will be compatible with the next SDK and runtime, so there’s no need to wait for the next version to get your project started.


View showing demo of extended depth data, notice the 3D view of the studio lighting

Rob Relyea is a Program Manager on the Kinect for Windows team, and a diehard enthusiast at heart. The following interview with Rob Relyea includes both a Kinect for Windows technology tour and also an overview and demonstration of some of the new features. Check it out!

You can follow me on twitter here: @GavinGear