It didn’t take long for Microsoft to realize the potential for its Xbox 360 motion-sensing Kinect peripheral in arenas other than the gaming space. The device was released at the end of last year, and by late February the company had announced plans to offer up a PC development kit to the world of Kinect hackers that had risen up with homebrewed solutions. Now, Microsoft Research has revealed the full range of support that developers can expect from the coming SDK release.
The kit will allow devs to make use of the motion-sensing camera’s built-in four-element microphone array to determine the location of a sound’s source in a physical space, offering improved integration with Microsoft’s speech recognition API. The SDK will also include “robust skeletal tracking capabilities.” In addition to just sounding cool, the feature will allow for the automatic detection of one or two people standing inside the camera’s field of view.
Gamasutra notes that these are two features which have been absent from drivers released by Kinect hardware manufacturer PrimaSense as well as those developed on the homebrew scene. Which means that the increasingly popular parade of YouTube-hosted Kinect hack videos is about to be taken to the next level.
The SDK will be released in the Spring according to Microsoft. A more concrete date has popped up, however, with a MIX11 report from I Programmer that pegs the release to May 16.