It’s great that Microsoft have put efforts in helping the community utilize the power of kinect, and now we’re seeing proof that they are continuing that commitment. Today i saw a news item in my rss feeds from Microsoft Research Kinect for Windows, There was a lovely speech about what a great year it’s been with the Kinect and what it has done for the Interactive Entertainment Business side of microsoft, and mention that the commercial product is coming somewhere early 2012 and how its going to re-imagine Kinect for Windows, but most importantly, they have started a blog over at http://www.kinectforwindows.org/ and released beta 2 of the Kinect for Windows SDK.
Beta 2 bring faster performance by 20% and increased accuracy in skeletel tracking and joint recognition. They note that improved skeletel tracking that can track the skeletel image of one or two people in the field of view can make it easier to create gesture-driven applications, something i never got round to doing. Come to think of it there were some Kinect books coming out this fall, maybe an interesting Christmas present for your hacker intrigued friends and family, and by hacker i mean that person who likes playing with technology and making it do things, not someone who wants to steal your credit card details etc, hackers are generally good people, there’s just a missinformation thing going on with the title.
Of course the Official SDK is just one route to take for playing with kinect, there are unofficial drivers out there and code libraries to use that make it more accessible on other OS (Operating Systems) to use the Kinect, and are in fact what originally brought about the movement using the kinect with a computer to do wonderful awesome things known as Kinect Hacks.