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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 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."