Kinect for Xbox 360, recently recognized by Guinness World Records as the fastest-selling consumer device in 60 days, allows users to enjoy games and entertainment with their whole body and voice -- no controller required. Today at MIX 2011, Microsoft detailed some of the features in the Kinect for Windows Beta SDK from Microsoft Research coming in the spring, including the following:
- Robust Skeletal Tracking for high-performance capabilities that track the skeleton image of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view
- Advanced Audio Capabilities, including four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for great audio; beam formation to identify the current sound source and integration with Windows speech recognition API also included
- XYZ depth camera for standard color camera stream access and depth data that indicates the distance of the object from the Kinect camera
Microsoft showcased compelling examples of what's possible using the SDK, including WorldWide Telescope and several community projects. Frog design inc. created a Kinect-powered "Wall Panic" PC game, in which players contort their bodies until they match a shape descending on a large screen. This work typifies the creative groundswell of Kinect usage scenarios being delivered by enthusiasts, developers and academics.
Kinect and WorldWide Telescope Demo: Microsoft Research uses Kinect and WorldWide Telescope to demo a gesture controlled tour of the universe.
"Microsoft's support for Kinect beyond the Xbox platform will increase opportunities for developers to explore new ideas and deliver innovative Kinect applications and experiences. A richer Kinect for Windows API will enable the creativity of these development communities to really come to life," said Robert Tuttle, chief architect, frog design.
Developers can sign up to be notified of the release here.