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Microsoft details Kinect SDK for Windows PC, promises 'robust skeletal tracking' (update)

Sean Hollister
Sure, a lack of first-party tools never kept you from bending the Kinect to your diabolical whim, but Microsoft's taking some time out at MIX 11 to talk about the official Kinect SDK for Windows and show off a few demos. Mind you, all of that's going to happen on stage over the course of the next hour, so we don't have many details for you right now, but Redmond says devs will have access to not only the basic color and infrared depth cameras, but "robust skeletal tracking" of two simultaneous individuals as well, and perhaps most excitingly, full access to the Kinect's array of four microphones for noise canceling and voice recognition complete with API support. Hate to say it, Kinect hackers, but the bar's about to be bumped up. Keep it locked right here and we'll let you know if the Microsofties reveal anything else fun!

Update: Yep, we're getting some Kinect SDK details now -- Microsoft says you'll be able to write Kinect apps for PC in Visual Basic, C#, and C++, and they're showing off basic coding now... with just a few minutes of work in Visual Studio, they had a program that could draw lines using the wave of a hand.

Update 2: Okay, we just saw some straight-up Minority Report fun here -- a guided astronomical tour of the universe controlled by Kinect, and a motorized lounge chair! Connection permitting, we'll have video up soon.