Microsoft launches prerelease 'Kinect for Windows developer kit program'


( —Microsoft has announced at its Build Development Event and via its website a new initiative the company is calling the Kinect for Windows developer kit program. The idea is to entice developers of Kinect applications to apply by offering them special perks. The catch is that only a select few of those who apply will be accepted into the program.

As part of its announcement, Microsoft has made it clear the company is looking for either innovative ideas for project or established players who will make a big splash when the next generation of the Kinect makes its debut next year.

Entering the program doesn't come cheap—those who are accepted will have to pay a $399 program fee. For their money, accepted developers will get special access to the Kinect development team at Microsoft (via ), access to the new and expanded Software Development Kit (SDK), sample documentation and API information, a prerelease Kinect device, and a final release Kinect device.

Early access to the device and SDK should give those who enter the program a leg up on the competition. Though, developers won't actually get early access until November.

Microsoft hasn't disclosed how many applicants will be accepted into the program, but has set a final cutoff date for those that wish to apply: July 31, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The application process consists of completing and submitting a form on Microsoft's website (Windows Live account required). Microsoft says it will let applicants know if they've been accepted into the program sometime in August.

Microsoft will likely get a lot of people and companies applying for acceptance into the program. The Kinect device has been wildly successful for Microsoft as both a game console and experimental device used in a wide variety of feedback systems.

The next iteration of the Kinect device is expected to have more and/or better functionality than its predecessor. Examples include likely faster sensor scanning for quicker reaction times, better color capture to allow for differentiation of recognized objects, the ability to remove background movement data, and of course more tools for controlling the device via JAVA or HTML5.

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