XBox Kinect Software Development Kit SDK Beta Released to Public

Randy Guthrie – Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist


On June 16, 2011 Microsoft Research in cooperation with Microsoft Game Studios released the beta version of the Kinect SDK for hobbyists and academics. Of course the professional SDK has been out for quite a while, since that is the only way the big studios could have developed the games you can buy at the store. The launch event included a 24 hour “hack-a-thon” at Microsoft’s Redmond campus, followed by a series of Channel 9 broadcast demonstrating various aspects of the SDK.

This SDK is for building apps for the PC, rather than games for the XBox console.  Since the greatest interest in the hobby and academic space is around building applications, MSR and MGS decided to release the PC SDK first. A game SDK is being considered but no details or time frame has been announced.

The Kinect SDK license agreement allows the use of the SDK and resulting applications with a Kinect device and is in addition to the license that came with the your Kinect. In other words, you don’t void the warranty of your Kinect while using this SDK. Use of any other drivers or development kits void the Kinect warranty. The SDK license is for non-commercial use only.

The Kinect supports both C++ and C# programming languages, and uses Visual Studio 2010 as programming tool.

Some of the system requirements are:

-Windows 7 (x86 or x64) running natively (virtual machine installations won’t work)
-Visual Studio 2010 Express or higher
-dual-core 2.66 or faster processor
-2GB of RAM

You can download the Kinect SDK, documentation, code walk-throughs, and other content at

Good luck and have fun!



Comments (1)

  1. And Visual Basic. Don't forget that you can use Visual Basic as well.

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