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SoftKinetic beats Microsoft to the punch, releases Kinect SDK first

softkineticAfter a slew of crafty users took Kinect into their own hands shortly following the device’s launch, Microsoft finally relented and decided it would open up the SDK for its users. Before you go kissing the ground MS execs walk on and hailing them as supporting customer creativity, know that the allowance comes only after initially threatening legal action against hackers and then a quick save-face routine in which the company began praising the ingenuity of the developers.

But apparently, these developers didn’t want to wait for the Microsoft stamp of approval before letting everyone who wants to get their hands dirty with the 3D interface. Belgian-based firm SoftKinetic released its own SDK today, which offers development kits for all depth-sensing recording devices – included Kinect.

“We want to expand the community of developers to be able to access to our professional tools and technology. We believe that opening up our cross-platform, multi-camera software to a broader community will enhance productivity and creativity, and we cannot wait to see the incredibly innovations that emerge as a result,” the company’s chief strategy officer Eric Krzeslo says, according to Beta News.

According to SoftKinetic’s site, its license and tools will give users total and free access to “the world’s premier [sic] gesture recognition middleware and industry de facto standard, compatible with all 3D camera technologies on the market.” It does appear, however, that there are some requirements for using the kit. SoftKinectic will be accepting registered companies with a staff of at least three, as well as inventors and creative types working on a finite project or experiment, and of course those of the academic variety. In short, it sort of sounds like SoftKinectic is looking for serious and committed brainiacs to benefit from their hard work. But it’s sure to find them: A fair amount of the early Kinect hacks were from artistic types who were exploring how to incorporate the technology into their art. Then again, some were to make the most realistic appearance of a lightsaber to date. In our eyes, both are deserving of Kinect’s SDK.

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