Remember the Microsoft Kinetic 3D sensor for the xbox, which offered a gaming experience where the user uses his entire body as a game control just make making body gestures like swinging the arm or legs? The technology was based on an hardware originally designed by PrimeSense, an Isreali company.
The device uses infrared sensors in combination with cameras to give a 3D output of images in its vicinity, by providing RGB data from the camera and distance information from the infrared sensors. All this power was being “wasted” just on a gaming tool, but no more.
Microsoft has released an SDK for the kinetic, which will make it possible for robotics enthusiasts and indeed anyone to design advanced motion sensor systems based on the kinetic. The SDK offers tools to interact directly with the Kinetic, providing access to raw sensor data streams in real time, skeletal tracking of images (which can be used to track specific human gestures like hand or leg movements) and advanced3D sound.
The SDK presently support programming in C#, C++ and VB, while the hardware itself goes for about $150, a reasonable price for a tool that offers such limitless possibilities for robotics and audio visual intelligent systems.