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Major Upgrade for Kinect for Windows SDK Released

Microsoft released an important new Kinect for Windows SDK today. Bob Heddle, director of Kinect for Windows, called it "our most significant update to the SDK since we released the first version a little over a year ago" in a blog posting.

SDK 1.7 is coming out at the same time as a developer toolkit and Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) for adding Kinect functionality to applications.

Heddle points to Kinect Interactions as the crown jewel of the SDK. The idea behind it, he writes, is to "save businesses and developers hours of development time while making it easier for them to create gesture-based experiences that are highly consistent from application to application and utterly simple for end users." The example shown on the blog is a woman at an optometrist's store, who's trying on various virtual pairs of glasses (sunglasses, to be specific).

Kinect Fusion is also part of the SDK, which creates 3-D models from multiple snapshots from the Kinect for Windows sensor. The sensor allows Kinect to build a virtual world around a person, object or environment.

Other upgrades in both the SDK and tools include Windows 8 support, Visual Studio 2012 and .NET Framework 4.5 support, a face tracking SDK, accelerometer data APIs, color camera setting APIs and an infrared emitter control API.

Microsoft has put Kinect for Windows code samples on the CodePlex repository. It's the first time Kinect has been open-sourced, Heddle says. It also demonstrates Microsoft's continuing efforts to make more of its software available, following on the heels of the late-January announcement that Visual Studio and Team Foundation Service would support Git source control.  

The SDK and toolkit are available for download here.

Posted by Keith Ward on 03/18/2013

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