PC Kinect SDK due this spring

Microsoft announces it will release a software development kit for Windows systems in the next few months.

Soon after the Kinect hit the market last November, academics and hobbyists began to experiment with it. Using open-source drivers on Windows-based PCs, various independents created all sorts of applications that used the Xbox 360 peripheral, ranging from helicopter guidance systems to unauthorized sex games.

The Kinect will soon have an official PC SDK from Microsoft.

And although Microsoft has ruled out any officially endorsed XXX-rated Kinect game, this week it did say an official PC Kinect software development kit will soon hit the market. First hinted at last month, the SDK will be available this spring for noncommercial use, although no exact date was given for its launch.

The release marks a turnaround from Microsoft's original position on PC users hacking the Kinect, which was initially met with official protest and threats of legal action. Now, though, the official Kinect PC SDK is in the works at Microsoft Research (MSR) in association with the Xbox 360's parent group, Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business.

"Supporting this community and enabling creativity around natural user interfaces (NUI) is important to us, and our hope is that this SDK will ignite further creativity in an already vibrant ecosystem of enthusiasts," the company said in a statement. "We are very excited by this announcement. Not only does it showcase our investment in this important technology trend, but it ensures that people have the tools they desire to revolutionize how people interact with technology."

For more on the Kinect, check out GameSpot's Konnecting With Kinect feature on the motion-sensing system.

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