Microsoft is releasing today a new version of its Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK).
In the recent TechFest, Microsoft’s annual “science fair” in which its advanced researchers show what they’re working on, it was obvious that the folks at Microsoft are really emphasizing the use of the Kinect voice- and motion-sensing technology. The Kinect was used in everything from detecting when a user steps away from a giant digital touchboard to 3-D scanning.
TechFest was also where we heard about some of the features that are now being included in this new SDK, including Kinect Fusion, which creates 3-D renderings by fusing together multiple images from the Kinect; and the ability for the Kinect to read hand gestures in addition to larger, skeletal motions.
The ability to read hand gestures sounds like it’s being categorized as part of the new SDK’s Kinect Interactions, which gives developers the tools to create more natural-user interfaces, including grip-to-pan and push-to-press buttons capabilities, and ways to accommodate multiple users.
This version of Kinect for Windows is “the most significant update to the SDK since we released the first version a little over a year ago,” Bob Heddle, director of Kinect for Windows, wrote in an official blog post.