Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Feb 2011 23:39 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft's Kinect is awesome. Not because of the stupid minigames you can play with it on your Xbox360, but because of all the cool stuff hackers have been able to do with it. As entirely predicted, Microsoft has announced today that it will launch an official Kinect SDK for Windows. The device was already purposefully easy to hack, but official support is always a boon.
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Windows only
by _txf_ on Mon 21st Feb 2011 23:50 UTC
_txf_
Member since:
2008-03-17

"Kinect for Windows SDK"

Riiiiight. Because all the cool stuff people have been doing is only based on windows.

I know they really only have obligations towards Windows but there are open drivers right now that enable the same things for all platforms. It would have been way cooler if they made a software lib that was portable everywhere...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Windows only
by Hiev on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 00:01 UTC in reply to "Windows only"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Geez, you trolls always want to see everything in the negative way, I feel sorry for you.

Edited 2011-02-22 00:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows only
by matto1990 on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 00:12 UTC in reply to "Windows only"
matto1990 Member since:
2009-04-18

True it would be lovely if they did that but why would they need to. Windows is good enough for them. Once it is released someone can adapt the current open libraries to have the same interface as the official Windows only one, essentially making it laughably easy to switch between the two.

To be honest I'm happy Microsoft is doing this at all. Brilliant move on there part and make me like them that bit more, even though I use nothing Microsoft based really.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Windows only
by smashIt on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 02:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows only"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Once it is released someone can adapt the current open libraries to have the same interface as the official Windows only one, essentially making it laughably easy to switch between the two.


i'd guess there will be much more to the sdk than the api alone

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows only
by BluenoseJake on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 01:17 UTC in reply to "Windows only"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Microsoft isn't in the business of selling other platforms, they want to sell 360's, Kinects and Windows. Odds are it'll plug into XNA Studio, which is .Net, and free, so I think it's a pretty good deal.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Windows only
by gedmurphy on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 08:24 UTC in reply to "Windows only"
gedmurphy Member since:
2005-12-23

I know they really only have obligations towards Windows but there are open drivers right now that enable the same things for all platforms. It would have been way cooler if they made a software lib that was portable everywhere...


Really? Why would a company develop an SDK for a competing platform?

Next you'll be asking why Microsoft aren't making Sony Playstation games, or contributing to the linux kernel ... oh wait, they did. There goes my argument....

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Windows only
by ichi on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 10:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Windows only"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Really? Why would a company develop an SDK for a competing platform?

Next you'll be asking why Microsoft aren't making Sony Playstation games, or contributing to the linux kernel ... oh wait, they did. There goes my argument....


That's the problem with MS: they have lots of different divisions developing different products for different markets, yet all of them are conditioned by the single interests of their main cash cow: the Windows OS.

Oh well.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Windows only
by tomcat on Fri 25th Feb 2011 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Windows only"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

"Really? Why would a company develop an SDK for a competing platform? Next you'll be asking why Microsoft aren't making Sony Playstation games, or contributing to the linux kernel ... oh wait, they did. There goes my argument....
That's the problem with MS: they have lots of different divisions developing different products for different markets, yet all of them are conditioned by the single interests of their main cash cow: the Windows OS. Oh well. "

Yeah, what a strange instinct for a company to have: Making money.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Windows only
by ichi on Fri 25th Feb 2011 21:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Windows only"
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Yeah, what a strange instinct for a company to have: Making money.


It's not about making money but about the way they maximize their income and how it affects consumers and developers.

And just in case your feelings were hurt I'll add it's obviously not just a MS thing, eg. Apple also does it's fair share of lock-in.
But then again we were talking about Microsoft, weren't we?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Windows only
by Laurence on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 09:56 UTC in reply to "Windows only"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

"Kinect for Windows SDK"

Riiiiight. Because all the cool stuff people have been doing is only based on windows.

I know they really only have obligations towards Windows but there are open drivers right now that enable the same things for all platforms. It would have been way cooler if they made a software lib that was portable everywhere...


....and in an ideal world Apple's App Store would stock GPL, Linux's 3D graphics drivers were well supported and my daily commute would cost half the current rail fare.

However in this universe most people game in Windows (excluding consoles obviously as we're talking desktop / laptop platforms) and Microsoft own Windows. So Redmond not only have a vested interest in supporting their own platform, it would be counter productive in them even releasing drivers for other OSs.

Besides, it's not like they hadn't left the Kinect wide up for people like us to use on non-MS platforms - albeit with community drivers rather than MS-endorsed .NET libraries.

Reply Score: 2

Research? Non commercial?
by malxau on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 00:13 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

...announced plans to release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit, or SDK, this spring.


Does this mean software developed with this SDK cannot be commercially distributed? It's a real shame to see such an interesting device being held back to only be first class on an Xbox.

On the other hand, is the GPL a commercial license? Will Microsoft really release something that promotes open source actively over proprietary systems? Strange world.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Research? Non commercial?
by n4cer on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 00:47 UTC in reply to "Research? Non commercial?"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Does this mean software developed with this SDK cannot be commercially distributed? It's a real shame to see such an interesting device being held back to only be first class on an Xbox.

On the other hand, is the GPL a commercial license? Will Microsoft really release something that promotes open source actively over proprietary systems? Strange world.


This will be released under one of MSR's research/academic licenses, so yes, the software developed with it can't be sold. A commercial SDK will come later, however.

While Microsoft plans to release a commercial version at a later date, this SDK will be a starter kit to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces using Kinect technology. The SDK will give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor.

This release will leverage Microsoft Research’s deep connections to academia worldwide and its long history of releasing software tools to the research community to foster creativity, experimentation, and new research directions.


http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/news/features/kinectforwindowss...

Reply Score: 4

Other tools already available
by glarepate on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 01:19 UTC
glarepate
Member since:
2006-01-04

If you don't want to wait, don't want to worry about how the SDK may be permitted to be used or just want something different, here are some things that are available now.

http://codelaboratories.com/kb/nui

I didn't download the NUI SDK because it is an exe, so I haven't checked to see what license they are using.

http://www.primesense.com/?p=515

PrimeSense links to http://www.openni.org/ for SDK downloads. The source tree at github has GPL and LGPL licenses.

I am not a programmer, so it is unlikely that I will be able to answer normal (or any) inquiries about these tools. But here they are in case you are interested.

Reply Score: 5

awesome
by stabbyjones on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 01:22 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

hopefully libfreenect can keep the pace and before you know it you'll be able to control your media server from your couch. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: awesome
by BluenoseJake on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 01:32 UTC in reply to "awesome"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Most people already can. Remote controls were invented sometime in the 50s

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: awesome
by stabbyjones on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 04:06 UTC in reply to "RE: awesome"
stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

Haha yes but i'm too lazy to buy one.

I use a wirelss mouse and keyboard.

Reply Score: 2

Sony
by thebluesgnr on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 08:43 UTC
thebluesgnr
Member since:
2005-11-14

"A very clever move by Microsoft, and a breath of fresh air after the likes of Sony and Apple."

You'll be happy to know Sony is also releasing the SDK for Playstation Move. More details to come at GDC.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sony
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 08:58 UTC in reply to "Sony"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Got a link so I can add it to the article?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Sony
by Drumhellar on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 18:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Sony"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

No official announcement yet, but:
http://tinyurl.com/49tdx49

So, seems likely, but still rumor at this point.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sony
by BluenoseJake on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 10:50 UTC in reply to "Sony"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

We might be happy now, but not in 3 years when Sony takes it back, or cripples it in some way.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Sony
by moondevil on Tue 22nd Feb 2011 13:06 UTC in reply to "Sony"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

The main difference being that you need to be a PS3 accepted developer to be able to even access it.

You may say what you want, but Microsoft is one of the most developer friendly companies out there, regardless of their business practices.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Sony
by demetrioussharpe on Wed 23rd Feb 2011 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Sony"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

The main difference being that you need to be a PS3 accepted developer to be able to even access it.

You may say what you want, but Microsoft is one of the most developer friendly companies out there, regardless of their business practices.


This is true. They know that they need 3rd party developers, because they can't develop everything themselves & most of the innovation actually comes from outside of MS. How else would their platforms gain traction? This is also how they decide who to acquire & who to push out of business. So, yes, they're one of the most developer friendly companies around, but remember the old saying: Enemies stab you in the back, friends stab you in the front.

Reply Score: 2