Microsoft improves Kinect for Windows SDK, launches in China

The company says the update includes more powerful sensor data tools and more flexibility for deployment.

Microsoft

Microsoft today updated its Kinect for Windows software development kit with a host of improvements.

According to the software giant, the new and important Kinect for Windows SDK now allows developers to consult data from the sensor's three-axis accelerometer, providing access to the device's orientation. In addition, developers will have access to depth data beyond its previous limit of four meters, as well as use of an infrared stream.

"Access to all this data means new experiences are possible: whole new scenarios open up, such as monitoring manufacturing processes with extended-range depth data," Microsoft Kinect for Windows general manager Craig Eisler said today in a blog post. "Building solutions that work in low-light settings becomes a reality with IR stream exposure, such as in theaters and light-controlled museums. And developers can tailor applications to work in different environments with the numerous color camera settings, which enhance an application's ability to work perfectly for end users."

Microsoft unveiled its Kinect for Windows commercial SDK earlier this year . With the SDK, developers can leverage the company's controller-free gaming device, Kinect, for use in enterprise applications. The move is an attempt on Microsoft's part to extend the Kinect's motion-recognition beyond gaming.

Aside from updates to the developer tools, Microsoft also says that its SDK is now compatible with Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012, and virtual machines.

In addition to updating its SDK, Microsoft announced today that its Kinect is now available in China. The company says that it plans to make Kinect available in seven more markets, including Chile and Puerto Rico, in the "next few months."

Read the full CNET Review

Microsoft Kinect

The Bottom Line: With its impressive body tracking and unique, controller-free experience, Kinect is great for casual gaming parties and workouts--assuming you have enough room to play it. / Read full review

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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