Since Kinect launched in November 2010, enthusiasts have been exploring the potential of Kinect in a number of unexpected, nongaming scenarios. At MIX, Microsoft detailed some of the features in the Kinect for Windows Beta SDK from Microsoft Research coming in the spring, including the following:

  • The latest advances in audio processing, which include a four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for crystal clear audio.
  • Sound source localization for beam forming, which enables the determination of a sound’s spatial location, enhancing reliability when integrated with the Microsoft speech recognition API.
  • Depth data, which provides the distance of an object from the Kinect camera, as well as the raw audio and image data, which together open up opportunities for creating richer natural user interface experiences.
  • High-Performance and Robust Skeletal Tracking Capabilities for determining the body positions of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view.
  • Documentation for the APIs and a description of the SDK architecture.
  • Sample code that demonstrates how to use the functionality in the SDK.

This SDK is intended for non-commercial use to enable experimentation in the world of natural user interface experiences, with new state-of-the-art features planned for future releases that will continue to provide new ways to experiment.

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