Many movies today show futuristic computing systems. This includes screens that can materialize in the air in front of the user and then be controlled with the appearance of touch and gestures. While displaying a screen in thin air is not available yet, the ability to recognize gestures is pretty close and getting better thanks to Microsoft’s Kinect.
The Kinect can sense the location of a person and gestures. Using a Kinect device you can position where a person is and determine movements. The issue with the Kinect is that it is seen as a controller for a gaming machine, not a controller for a PC.
Of course, people have already hacked the Kinect in order to program to it. What is Microsoft’s response to this hacking?
Microsoft has taking the path of putting those hackers out of business by bringing out their own SDK. They have announced they are releasing an SDK for Kinect. While a commercial version might come at some point, in the short term, Microsoft plans to release a non-commercial version of a Kinect for Windows SDK this spring as a free download. The SDK is expected to allow access to the Kinect sensors, audio technology, and more.
For a bit more information on the announcement of this SDK, see the Microsoft Kinect SDK Press Release.
The Kinect is an impressive device. Adding two or three to a room and integrating the data from them could bring new possibilities in motion sensing. Such possibilities include new ways to interact with a computer that have yet to be conceived. One thing is sure, opening up the device with an SDK will also open the door of for developers and hobbyist to see what can be done!