(Phys.org) —Monday, March 18, for Microsoft goes down in Kinect for Windows history as the day the new Kinect for Windows SDK 1.7 arrives for developers, which, according to its team, is the most significant update for the SDK since its first version over a year ago. Developers as of March 18 can download the kit and interface guidelines from the website, said Bob Heddle, director, Kinect for Windows. Heddle made use of Engadget's Expand event in San Francisco to make the announcement last week.
That word "interactions" has been a principal item as Microsoft moves from gaming rooms into business meeting spaces, retail shops, and medical settings, to grow the use of Kinect with PCs. Kinect for Windows hardware is not the same as for the Xbox in that it is fashioned in a way that is more sensible for its target audience. Microsoft's Kinect researchers had to think in terms of movements that could seem easy, and "intelligently based," in Microsoft's language, on the way people naturally move and gesture, beyond the whole-body, ball-kicking movements that are used for playing games. Heddle said that push-to-press buttons, grip-to-pan capabilities, and ways to accommodate multiple users and two-person interactions in the new version were "based on thousands of hours of research, development, and testing with a broad and diverse group of people."
Certain movements have been standardized, so that developers can focus on other things. "We wanted to save businesses and developers hours of development time while making it easier for them to create gesture-based experiences that are highly consistent from application to application and utterly simple for end users."
The other big deal about the updated SDK is Fusion—where one can create live 3-D models of either people, objects, or environments. The user can do this by picking up the Kinect for Windows sensor and moving it about the target subject. In doing so, the computer creates a 3-D rendering.
Also noted in the blog announcement of the new arrival is the news that Microsoft has opened access to some of the code for its Kinect for Windows motion-sensing device. Kinect for Windows code samples will be available through the CodePlex project hosting open source software. Actually, access to Kinect for Windows sample code was announced on the March 7 MSDN blog by Ben Lower. "We are happy to announce we are releasing the Kinect for Windows samples under an open source license." The code was placed on the CodePlex website so developers can freely download and share the software. Twenty-two unique samples in C#, C++, and Visual Basic were posted.
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