The rumours were true: Microsoft's released the Kinect beta SDK for Windows, so PC users can now start (officially) dancing and motion-tracking in front of their keyboards.
Microsoft has been keen to support Kinect development on PC ever since bedroom programmers started cracking the motion sensor and creating all kinds of magic.
The SDK, which you can download here, features:
Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
Advanced audio capabilities
Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
Sample code and documentation
The SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.
The SDK installs quickly, requires no complex configuration, and the complete installer size is less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).