Following recent rumors, Microsoft has formally announced plans to release a Kinect software development kit (SDK) for Windows PCs.
The first version, due out this spring, will be non-commercial and available for the “academic research and enthusiast communities.” Microsoft Research will provide access to Kinect’s audio, system application-programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor — all in the name of academia. Microsoft states a commercial version will come at a “later date.”
This marks quite a turnaround for Microsoft. When Kinect hacks were breaking out in Nov., it pledged to “work closely with law enforcement” to keep Kinect tamper proof. This shift from walled garden to public park should come as good news to the PC community. Although you can control robots and Mario now, expect the condoned versions for PCs to be even better.