Kinect for Windows 1.0 SDK is here to look at you closely

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Microsoft has just released version 1.0 of the Kinect SDK for Windows. One of the biggest complaints about the beta releases of the SDK was the lack of support for close object recognition. Near mode now allows the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimetres rather than the standard 6 feet.

The 1.0 release of the SDK addresses a number of other issues:

  • Support for up to four Kinect sensors plugged into the same computer
  • Significantly improved skeletal tracking, including the ability for developers to control which user is being tracked by the sensor
  • Near Mode for the new Kinect for Windows hardware, which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 40 centimeters in front of the device
  • Many API updates and enhancements in the managed and unmanaged runtimes
  • The latest Microsoft Speech components (V11) are now included as part of the SDK and runtime installer
  • Improved “far-talk” acoustic model that increases speech recognition accuracy
  • New and updated samples, such as Kinect Explorer, which enables developers to explore the full capabilities of the sensor and SDK, including audio beam and sound source angles, color modes, depth modes, skeletal tracking, and motor controls
  • A commercial-ready installer which can be included in an application’s set-up program, making it easy to install the Kinect for Windows runtime and driver components for end-user deployments.
  • Robustness improvements including driver stability, runtime fixes, and audio fixes

It’s important to keep in mind that the new Near Mode is only available from the new Kinect for Windows, which isn’t available in Australia. You can see from the screenshot below, connecting an existing Kinect to a computer shows under the range selection ‘NearMode not supported on this device’.

Let’s hope Australian availability for Kinect for Windows arrives soon so Aussie developers can start building Windows 7/8 Kinect-enabled applications.

Kinect SDK 1.0 screen shot

More information @ MSDN or just download the Kinect SDK 1.0 now.

Via The Verge.