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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Discussion

59 comments
Proman84
Proman84

Awesome news. It makes perfect sense to have this sort of capability on a PC.

blackace
blackace

@Dynamo11 Luckily for Microsoft they were ble to see a whole different market for the Kinect than gaming, so good on them for being so open and helpful about it. ***************************************************************************** Yeah.. that was a quick turnaround. Original they were like, "Lets ban these bastards and take them to court." After they saw some of the potential for the Kinect, they saw $$$. It was like. "Whoa, they want to use the Kinect for innovative projects. Let's help the community and sell million more Kinects at the same time. I'm sure within the next year or two, they will be shipping thousands of Kinects to schools and colleges so they can to meaning projects with them. Meantime, Sony is still banning hackers and trying to sue them.

daniel_droid
daniel_droid

Kool il love to play around with the SDK i Love Microsoft Visual studios and Exspression pack. I ♥ Microsoft!

campbell153
campbell153

Kinect for PC? I can imagine it now... sitting infront of a screen tapping away at mouse and typing on keyboard while spinning around in chair for special move!

brad12d3
brad12d3

@NColdhardt You said "Optical sensors have already been created for the PC. Sorry, Microsoft, but your gimmick won't work on the PC market, especially considering higher quality sensors and cheaper ones are available." The tech that is used in the Kinect is not widely available on a commercial basis. This is why so many people at places like MIT have gotten excited about it. Sure the technology is not new, but having it in a consumer product has opened the door to creating some really cool applications. The isn't a gimmick from MS, they are just lending their support to an ever growing community of tech heads who see enormous potential in this device. Which is also why they even formed a group OpenKinect. I know the overzealous Sony fanboys don't want to believe that MS created something with amazing potential, but that is what has happened.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

What i find interesting is the additional functionality this will give to gamers who are disabled in one way or another. Before Kinect launched, I remember reading somewhere (Wired?) about how MS had a ton of people from their other software/programming accessibility sectors within and outside of the company contributing to the Kinect package. This will be good for those people.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Luckily for Microsoft they were ble to see a whole different market for the Kinect than gaming, so good on them for being so open and helpful about it.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@PcGamingRig Oh, I think we can go way beyond that. The problem is, critics (who have every right to feel skeptical) have been critical for the wrong reasons. "It isn't hardcore", "it's too casual". These are poor reasons and show a certain lack of creativity. The only way we can make it HARDCORE and reach PAST the casual is if we put our minds to it. Think creatively. The only reason it hasn't quite yet is because no one has thought of a good way. It's new enough that fans, gamers, and developers are all unsure. What we need is time, patience, and ingenuity. We should erase the possibility of a regular 360 controller working in conjunction with a 360 remote or a new peripheral like some kind of light gun. We can't overlook the possibility of software for it improving drastically. Right now there doesn't seem to be specific conventions or standards for Kinect games because no one knows what they are. After some time, they'll hammer it out. Instead of nay saying, why not figure out how to make it work. Who knows. Microsoft may knock on your door with a bucket of cash.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

It's interesting. Microsoft initially rejected the idea but someone fortunately and quickly realized the potential backlash if they continued this path and potential gain if they didn't. Sony has been extremely stubborn about Other OS and very bullish on the hacking scandal (mind you, they technically ARE in the right but the way they're handling it just sends an unpleasant message). Then, sometime after Microsoft gave the big Okay, Sony suddenly says "HEY COME WORK WITH OUR MOVE PLZ". Microsoft had to swat people away, Sony is trying to entice people.

Setsuka13
Setsuka13

Sex game? I guess all new technology really does lead back to sex.

joeborg14
joeborg14

Good job to Microsoft for supporting their product and the budding community around it, unlike Sony that just endlessly engages its fanbase in security warfare. Gamers are going to win; better to be with them when it happens.

PcGamingRig
PcGamingRig

don't want it for games but it will be interesting to see what people make with it. i suppose you could add some mini game mods to current games that will use it.

stu_gamer
stu_gamer

hopefully this will trigger some inspiration in developers and we might actually get some proper games/apps out if it instead of all the fitness/casual stuff at the minute!

OverlordEX
OverlordEX

If ya can't beat 'em, join them!

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

the way i see it, the more successful Kinect becomes the more developers will get interested in it and so the sooner we get some hardcore games :) so good luck kinect

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@Sigil-otaku great idea, i love black & white :D

jhpeter
jhpeter

I use my pc aswell my others systems with my Bravia 46", kinect will just rock,particulary when recognize someone sitting.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

Someone do Kinect black and white please, I want to be able to finally slap my lion for real lol. Or stroke its stomach I guess.

dark_rage864
dark_rage864

I want kinect sims to come out, would be interesting :)

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

I'd love to use Kinect to bring some voice recognition commands to my PC. "PC, play video".."PC, pause video".."PC Star *insert game name here*"...man that would rock :).

mewes82
mewes82

im interseted in this as long as they dont use it for game-only software, it be cool to navigate windows, media player, IE (or other brawsers) and photo-editing software...the future could be bright with this, if used correctly!

Epsilon47
Epsilon47

Considering how difficult it is to use Kinect for a full game, XNA and arcade releases by indie developers is probably the best way for them to make money off of it.

NColdhardt
NColdhardt

Optical sensors have already been created for the PC. Sorry, Microsoft, but your gimmick won't work on the PC market, especially considering higher quality sensors and cheaper ones are available.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

If it means more folks can do decent things with it (aside from gaming) it's all good news :) It's a good piece of kit. Just ashame about the games.

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

It was already outselling the move and gaining more publicity with the hacking and now its coming to PC gamers and moddable from the off? MS is going to make a lot of money off of Kinect it seems. I wonder if Sony will make move compatible with NGP / PSP to catch up lol. Seriously though good luck to both of them.

jkeplinger
jkeplinger

As a CS student this interests me greatly. I don't own a Kinect as I don't have the money for it. But with an official SDK, I can work this into a need with my financial aid money. This would let me do some neat things for term projects in the future.

Shelman23
Shelman23

I can just see all the user created video's of people bumping, grinding, & thrusting in the air while playing a sex game. That would be absolutely hilarious to see. I'll bet if, I'm sorry, WHEN that happens we'll all get to see some great youtube videos of that. Can't wait!

wexorian
wexorian

Still mouse and keyboard are main things that will not be changed :D

vaejas
vaejas

That is a smart move. Make it official, make it better than the quick hacks, and have some control over it. Also glad that it doesn't seem to be relegated to the XNA club. It will get a lot more serious science use like the Wiimote has.

RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@BAD-C0MPANY Microsoft doesn't condone it on their system. Even just disabling your disc-drive on the 360 gets you a ban on Xbox Live. If Sony were to be cracking down on folk who modify the Move, then you'd have a valid point. There's plenty of information out there on how to mod the PS Eye as well as other peripherals and Sony hasn't said a thing about it. I have a modded PS Eye that I sometimes use as my view control on PC. It tracks my eye movement so I just look around and it aims accordingly. Useful for quick-targeting in online shooters!

gameboysrule
gameboysrule

@BAD-C0MPANY That's not completely true. Sony made it so that you can keep the jailbreak on your PS3, you just can't go online with it. Which actually makes sense. Would you like to see a bunch of cheaters/hackers online in Black Ops (for example) while playing Xbox? I doubt it.

Agent_StarFire
Agent_StarFire

Great for those that want it but im not one of those ppl so ye lol koool.

jesuschristmonk
jesuschristmonk

will it come for mac? 8D lol. anyone troll that yet?

zzamaro
zzamaro

PC and mouse. That's all I need.

sexytyrant69
sexytyrant69

I think it's a good move and a bad move what Microsoft is doing. The plus side: By letting people hack the Kinect,they are collecting ideas,for future uses on the Kinect for future games,and gaming ideas( I got a few of them myself that can work for FPS). The bad side: is that by buying the kit you have very strong limitations from Microsoft meaning: No outrageous ideas, No NC-17/Adults only material(it doesn't necessary have to be porn you pervs) No outside hacking. and mabee a pricey kit. But in the end it's all about what microsoft does,and how they are gonna handle things.

sexytyrant69
sexytyrant69

BAD-C0MPANY: "Thank god". Someone who understands like i do. I agree with U homie.

themidgethotel
themidgethotel

Imma stick with the Move for now but I might think about getting the 2nd generation of this should it have faster tracking.

kyleh615
kyleh615

I play Black Ops and Forza 3 and then fire up Kinectimals :)

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@Rocker6 I love that people like you still think somehow that MS made Kinect for Hardcore gamers.... And I am really curious what your definition of hardcore gamer is. Apparently you all think Hardcore gamer = FPS only gamer. I'm not sure how that worked itself out. My definition of a hardcore gamer? A person that is into all forms of gaming, from FPS, to RPG, All the way down to Android App games and Facebook games. A hardcore gamer enjoys all types of games and are not stuck on one genre alone. I contend that you are a FPS gamer. Kinect dosn't work for FPS gamers. Would you use a Mouse to play a dance game? Or how about a guitar hero guitar to play farmville? Hmmm... maybe all you fakers out there should stop using "Hardcore gamer" to define yourself and go with "FPS Gamer" It fits you better.

StSk8ter29
StSk8ter29

I think this is a great idea. My computer is in a much better place for Kinect than my 360.

Snicker-Man
Snicker-Man

really on the pc to me that not a good thing epically where i have my pc at there not alot of from to play it, and even if i had the room my screen is to small it wont be a good idea for me to get it

kyleh615
kyleh615

I can already see tons of potential on the PC. Can't wait for this SDK to come out. We are going to see some very exciting things from this device.

Mohammad37
Mohammad37

lol the PC getting the PS move and the Kinect ? wow