Microsoft will offer the Kinect for Windows commercial software developer kit early next year, the Redmond company announced to celebrate the the first anniversary (on November 4) of its Kincect NUI sensor.
In a October 31 blog post, Frank X. Shaw, CVP, Corporate Communications at Microsoft said "We recognize the intense commercial interest in harnessing the capabilities of Kinect, and are working with a wide range of companies and developers to create a great set of tools and APIs."
Adding, he said "In fact, our commercial pilot program has already received more than 200 applications from top companies in more than 20 countries spanning 25 unique industries, eager to explore the possibilities of Kinect beyond Xbox 360!"
Kinect for Xbox 360 was launched on November 4 2010, bringing with it a new era of controller-free, interactive gaming and entertainment for the living room -- and became a phenomenon across the globe.
"Within the first 60 days, Kinect sold more than 8 million sensors, setting the Guinness Book World Record as the fastest-selling consumer electronics device."
It extended the realm of what's possible for a traditional gaming console and changed the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, bringing new categories of consumers to Xbox 360.
Almost immediately following the launch of Kinect, hobbyists and academics from around the world embraced Kinect possibilities in ways that surprised and delighted. And with the launch of a non-commercial software development kit, more exciting and creative applications started emerging in the areas of healthcare, rehab, education and so much more.
"Kinect Effect" stories began pouring in with personal accounts and YouTube videos from around the world showing how Kinect was helping transform and improve the way people work, create, and perform daily activities. "We saw Kinect being used by therapists and physicians as part of a rehabilitation program for stroke victims, as a skill-building technique for children with autism, and as an application for hospitals in Spain enabling surgeons to scroll through medical images in the operating room with gestures so they could avoid the need to rescrub," noted Shaw.
Here are some photos the innovative Kinect usage:
Rehabilitation at Royal Berkshire Hospital
A patient at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in the U.K. uses Kinect as part of rehabilitation exercises. Patients at the hospital's Neurological Rehab Unit are matched to specific Kinect titles depending on the severity of their impairment. The games have helped improve patients' balance, coordination and physical movement.
Helping Kids With Autism
A child at the Lakeside Center for Autism in Issaquah, Wash., interacts with Kinect. Lakeside staff use Kinect in therapy and skill-building, exploring how it can improve social interaction, language development, and motor planning to help kids with autism be able to write, get dressed, sit in class, and so on.
Scalpel. Forceps. Kinect.
Tedesys, a technology startup in Cantebria, Spain, has been working on an application that will let doctors use the sensor while operating, without needing to leave the sterile operating room enviornment.
Turning Kinect Into a Flight Controller
Student Alex Wiggins gestures to Kinect, which in turn lifts a remote-control toy helicopter while teammates Ruma Paul (left) and Fabio Matsui (right) look on. The trio was using the new Kinect for Windows SDK beta during Code Camp on Microsoft's Redmond Campus. June 16, 2011.
Waving His Way Though the Stars
Microsoft Research's Jonathan Fay demonstrates exploring WorldWide Telescope with a wave of the hand after it was enabled using the Kinect for Windows SDK beta. April 13, 2011
MIX11 Keynote - Kinect Powered Lounge Chair
Microsoft Technical Evangelist Clint Rutkas demonstrates a Kinect drivable lounge chair.
Host of Nat Geo WILD Demos 'Kinect Nat Geo TV'
Casey Anderson, host of Nat Geo WILD, gets a little wild playing the new Kinect title based on his show during the announcement of Microsoft's latest partnership with National Geographic. New York City, Oct. 18, 2011.
Getting Into Learning Through Play
Children of all ages experience "playful learning" with Kinect for Xbox 360 as they try out titles from Microsoft's latest partnerships with Sesame Workshop and National Geographic. New York City, Oct. 18, 2011.
Who Hasn't Wanted to Wield a Light Saber?
The audience at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles was treated to a preview of "Kinect Star Wars."