(Phys.org)—Senior Program Manager for Microsoft's Kinect for Windows, Chris White recently announced via a blog post that Kinect Fusion will soon be incorporated into the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). The announcement means that third party developers will soon be able to create 3D modeling applications based on Microsoft's Kinect motion sensing device.
Kinect Fusion was developed by Microsoft engineers working at its Cambridge facility in Great Britain. It uses sensor technology from the hardware system Microsoft originally developed as a gaming device to create realistic three dimensional representations of objects. To create 3D models, the software combines a continuous stream of video captured from a camera built into the Kinect device with depth data also captured by the device. To capture data about all aspects of the physical object, it must be moved in front of the Kinect device, or the Kinect device moved around the object. The result is a 3D model of the original object that can be manipulated in three dimensions, all in real time. Microsoft says objects captured can be either large or small and that the software can work with single objects or many different ones and that even a whole room can be rendered in three dimensions if so desired. They also note that 3D models of people and other moving objects can be created as well.
White reports that developers have been requesting that Microsoft incorporate Kinect Fusion into Kinect for Windows (the Windows version of the software originally written for the XBox 360 gaming system) after seeing demonstrations of its capabilities. He didn't give a time frame for when it might be made available, however, suggesting it would be coming in a future release. The move to add Fusion to the SDK marks a dramatic shift for Microsoft as executives were originally wary of allowing developers to create anything but games for the original device.
By incorporating Fusion into the SDK, Microsoft gives developers the ability to create advanced applications that range from augmented reality programs to 3D printing and industrial design software, to body scanners and of course, video games.
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More information: research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/surfacerecon/