Microsoft released October 8 an updated version of its Kinect SDK for Windows which includes support for desktop applications running Windows 8.
Company officials said in September that
The October SDK includes several new features, including:
- Exposing the infrared stream in the Application Programming Interface (API) as a new color image format.
- Extended depth data (beyond four meters), but with reduced quality as distance increases
- Ability to optimize color camera settings
- Support for a new Bayer raw color image format
- Exposure of the sensor accelerometer in the PLC
- German support in the speech recognition package
- Support for several new APIs for converting data between color, depth and skeleton coordinate spaces
- Support for Windows running in a virtual machine (VM), including those from Microsoft’s Hyper-V team, VMWare, and Parallels
According to the release notes, October SDK also lets developers build desktop apps for Windows 8. Desktop apps are Win32 apps that cannot be downloaded directly from the Windows Store on Windows 8 and Windows RT. The new SDK also adds support for Visual Studio 2012 and .Net 4.5.
Kinect Studio 1.6.0 has been updated to support new SDK features.
Today is also the day when Kinect sensors for Windows to be released in China, as Microsoft officials said they would return in September.
The Kinect for Windows sensor looks like the Kinect for Xbox sensor. But it is designed to work at a closer distance and to work with Windows 7/8 PCs. In addition to making firmware adjustments in the new Windows Kinect sensor, Microsoft shortened the USB cable and included a “small dongle” to improve coexistence with other USB devices. The Windows version also changed the Kinect depth camera to see objects that are “50 centimeters in front of the device.
The Kinect Software Development Kit (SDK) and Runtime Environment for Windows are available under a commercial license and an amateur license, allowing developers to build commercial / professional applications that use the product.