Earlier today Microsoft announced that it would be releasing its official Kinect SDK to the non-commercial developer community on May 16th.
Interestingly Microsoft chose to laud the SDK’s audio source perception and voice recognition above the physical gesture detection the device is capable of. This may be because all the other Kinect-compatible frameworks to date do not handle audio at all impressively.
I’m also pleased by Microsoft’s attitude towards community development. It’s not a first by MS, but it’s certainly the highest-profile ’embracement’ of the community that I can remember. Keep going like this, MS, and people will start loving you above those penny-pinching fanboys in Cupertino ;)
I would love to know whether Microsoft always intended on releasing the kit like this. Did MS respond (positively) in this way to the community’s immediate and successful attempts to ‘hack’ the Kinect, or (more cynically) did the company realise just how large a market it has cornered due to the popularity of the device and wants to cash in? Maybe we’ll never know, but developments in the coming months will unquestionably be exciting.
More information here: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/kinectsdk/