Microsoft has announced that it will release an official Windows development kit for its Kinect motion sensor this spring.
The SDK will “make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces using Kinect technology,” according to Microsoft. Developers will be given access to audio, APIs and direct control of the Kinect sensor itself.
“Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” said Craig Mundie, the firm’s chief research and strategy officer. “The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them.”
The move follows a heavy hint from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who told the BBC in January that Microsoft would introduce PC support “in a formal way, at the right time.” PC developers have been using Kinect unofficially for some time since the device was hacked by MIT graduates within days of its release in November.
Microsoft has said that a full, commercial version of the SDK will be released at a later date.