The official Microsoft Kinect SDK beta is now out and available for download! Covered by Channel Nine Live Media, Microsoft Scientist Anoop Gupta made the announcement himself that after the long wait, users may now go to the official SDK website to download the latest software development kit for the Kinect camera.
Here are the features that will come with the Kinect SDK (taken from Microsoft SDK website):
“The Kinect for Windows SDK beta is a programming toolkit for application developers. It enables the academic and enthusiast communities easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system.
The Kinect for Windows SDK beta includes drivers, rich APIs for raw sensor streams and human motion tracking, installation documents, and resource materials. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.
Raw sensor streams
Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
Advanced audio capabilities
Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
Sample code and documentation
The SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.
The SDK installs quickly, requires no complex configuration, and the complete installer size is less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).
This SDK is designed for non-commercial purposes only; a commercial version is expected to be available at a later date.”
Additional details about the SDK is that it is currently in beta, meaning it is not yet the actual finished product. Rather, Microsoft wants the opinion of the Kinect hackers/developers in finalizing the product. By keeping it in beta, Microsoft will then ask users to give their feedback concerning the SDK with the eventual hope of releaseing a Kinect SDK built for and with Kinect hackers.
There is also a commercial version coming out. Details are not yet final as to what the difference would be between the two versions of the Kinect.