Kinect SDK Beta Released for Windows

imageKinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) from Microsoft Research has been released today!

The Kinect for Windows SDK can be downloaded today at no cost for development of noncommercial applications at http://research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk.

The SDK is a programming toolkit for application developers that enables the academic and enthusiast communities easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system.

The Kinect for Windows SDK beta includes drivers, rich APIs for raw sensor streams and human motion tracking, installation documents, and resource materials. It provides Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.

This SDK includes the following features:

  • Raw sensor streams
    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.

  • Skeletal tracking
    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.

  • Easy installation
    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).

This SDK is designed for non-commercial purposes only; a commercial version is expected to be available at a later date.

The SDK is documented and code walkthroughs are provided here. Enjoy!

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Debugger Canvas – VS.NET 2010 Extension

Debugger Canvas is a new user experience for stepping through code in the debugger in Visual Studio Ultimate. It displays the code of each of the methods you step into on a canvas with call lines between them, helping you keep track of the bigger picture as well as the details.

Debugger Canvas is a Power Tool for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 that pulls together the code you’re exploring onto a single pan-and-zoom display. As you hit breakpoints or step into code, Debugger Canvas shows just the methods that you’re debugging, with call lines and local variables, to help you see the bigger picture.

This is what you can do in this version of Debugger Canvas:

  • Step into methods on a canvas using the debugger
  • Use the normal debugger features in the canvas
  • Share a canvas as an XPS image
  • Take snapshots of local variables so you can make comparisons as you step through code multiple times
  • Add related methods to the canvas using Go to Definition and Find All References

DebuggerCanvas

Register For BUILD Conference

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BUILD is a new event that shows modern hardware and software developers how to take advantage of the future of Windows. Learn how to work with the all new touch-centric user experience to create fast, fluid, and dynamic applications that leverage the power and flexibility of the core of Windows, used by more than a billion people around the world.

Hear how the UI was designed to work seamlessly with a diversity of devices and form factors. Go behind the scenes and learn all about the new app model that allows you to create powerful new apps. All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. Web-connected and web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript have access to the power of the PC. Touch-optimized browsing, with the full power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10 transforms your experiences with the web. BUILD is the first place to dive deep into the future of Windows.

Register for BUILD before August 1 for the early bird discount.

Windows Azure SDK for PHP features Open Source Libraries

Windows Azure SDK for PHP version 3.0 has been released. This Open Source SDK gives PHP developers a “speed dial” library to take full advantage of Windows Azure’s coolest features. On top of many improvements and bug fixes for this version (see the list from Maarten Balliauw’s preview), we’re particularly excited about the new service management possibilities and the new logging infrastructure.

Also the Windows Azure Sample Kit for PHP was released. It is a new project hosted on github that will be the primary repository for all sample php code / apps that developers can use to learn how to take advantage of the various features of Windows Azure in php. Today we are releasing two samples to the repository: the Guestbook application (example of how to use the Windows Azure storage objects – blobs, queues and tables as well as a simple web/worker pattern) and “Deal of the Day” (more on this one later).

For more information, see New SDK and Sample Kit demonstrates how to leverage the scalability of Windows Azure with PHP.

Video Shows New Windows 8 Features

Microsoft demonstrated the next generation of Windows, internally code-named “Windows 8,” for the first time. Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, from the chip to the interface. A Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse.

The demo showed some of the ways we’ve reimagined the interface for a new generation of touch-centric hardware. Fast, fluid and dynamic, the experience has been transformed while keeping the power, flexibility and connectivity of Windows intact.

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