Kinect gets Windows 8 update and releases in China

Motion tracking for Metro
Motion tracking for Metro

Microsoft announced an update to the Kinect for Windows' software development kit, or SDK, in preparation for the launch of Windows 8.

A number of enhancements to the SDK will provide developers with new data in the API for their Kinect applications.

For example, API access to accelerometer data will allow developers to determine the Kinect sensor's orientation, and extended-range depth data will allow Kinect to return data from objects more than four meters away.

Developers will also have access to the Kinect camera's brightness and exposure settings, as well as infrared stream exposure settings, opening up new environments such as low-light settings.

The updated SDK will also better support multiple Kinect sensors working together, with faster infrared sensing and improved skeletal tracking.

Windows 8 compatible

In addition to the Kinect's new technical capabilities from the update, the new SDK makes Kinect sensors compatible with Windows 8, allowing developers to create Windows 8 desktop applications using the 3D camera.

Kinect applications support Visual Studio 2012 and Microsoft's .NET Framework 4.5. With the updated SDK, developers can also create Kinect applications for virtual machine environments, including Microsoft Hyper-V, VMWare, and Parallels.

Microsoft also launched the Kinect sensor for Windows in China, with launches to soon reach Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, and Puerto Rico.

Kinect is still gaining support from various fields, used in applications for manufacturing and even medical purposes, and the new SDK features will help to further expand those uses.

Microsoft has not given up on Kinect for gaming yet either, as recently leaked images hint at an even more accurate sensor in store for firm's next console, commonly referred to as the Xbox 720.

Via Kinect for Windows blog