Let’s be honest, Kinect is an amazing piece of technology and unlike Sony, Microsoft did not specifically tried to close it and limit its usage on XBOX 360 consoles only. Soon after the first units were made available for public, a myriad of hacks and innovative projects appeared all over the world, even 3rd party SDKs. Microsoft promised they’ll do something about it as well, and today is the big day. Kinect SDK beta version is released and yours for free to play with it if you have a Kinect sensor, a PC and good programming skills.
The SDK is based on the software used on XBOX 360 but ported to .NET platform. You can use the libraries with the .NET language of your choice (C#, VB.NET or C++.NET). Platform wise, you’ll need a dual core machine, 4GB RAM, Windows 7 (yes, mandatory) and a DirectX 9.0c compatible graphic card. Visual Studio 2010 Express at a minimum (it is free!!!) and the latest .NET Framework, version 4.0.
Kinect SDK comes in both 32 and 64-bit versions (kinectsdk32.msi and kinectsdk64.msi both at the version 1.00.11), the download is around 20MB and it is capable of tracking your entire skeleton movements. The install kit includes the driver, API library and precious code samples. Hit the link below for download info.