Microsoft's Kinect motion control peripheral for the Xbox 360 sold exceptionally well over the holiday season, selling over eight million units. Now, according to WinRumors, Microsoft is readying an official SDK (software development kit) along with Kinect drivers for Windows.
It is believed that Microsoft will unveil driver support for Windows in the coming months and that it will also allow third-party developers to create PC titles utilising the Kinect's sensor. This means motion controlled applications may be coming to a PC near you soon.
Thus far we've seen several creative Kinect hackers
using the device in conjunction with a PC to some astounding results, including Minority Report style touch controls. With the release of an official SDK however, Kinect's PC possibilities are virtually endless.
According to "sources familiar with the plans", the drivers will initially be distributed as "beta" drivers, meaning more refinement and improvement to the Kinect SDK is likely to be seen in the coming months. It has also been said that Microsoft is looking into incorporating the Kinect tools in an upcoming "Community Technical Preview" of its XNA Game Studio tools.
In addition to creating new Kinect powered applications and games for the PC, it is believed that the next iteration of the Windows operating system (OS), Windows 8, will come standard with Kinect support. This means that it may be possible to fully control the next Windows interface using gesture based input and voice commands alone.
Microsoft also recently acquired 3D gesture experts Canesta
, and a Windows 8 leak
dating from last year promised Kinect integration, a Windows App Store and fast boot will be present in Windows 8. We can't wait to see what kind of Kinect applications will be coming to the PC, the technology definitely has a ton of potential.
ASUS also recently revealed a “Kinect” of its own in the form of the WAVI Xtion