New Kinect for Windows Hardware in 2012 – Bet Windows 8 Will Support It

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 November 2011 02:59 Written by Mire_B Tuesday, 22 November 2011 02:59

Get ready for some new Kinect goodies next year. As you might have heard, Microsoft is launching the Kinect for Windows commercial program in early 2012. But in addition to the evolved Kinect SDK for Windows heading to developers, end users will also get special Kinect hardware, tailored specifically to their PCs.


A very important detail is the fact that Microsoft has finally dealt with the Kinect proximity issues. As existing Kinect users know, it’s impossible to get up close and personal with the current version of the NUI sensor. A “safe distance” must be kept at all times in order for Kinect to work properly.


This will all change with the new Kinect for Windows hardware planned for launch in 2012 – and you can bet that Windows 8 will support it. The new device will support user interaction at as close as 50 centimeters, according to Microsoft:


Since announcing a few weeks ago that the Kinect for Windows commercial program will launch in early 2012, we’ve been asked whether there will also be new Kinect hardware especially for Windows. The answer is yes; building on the existing Kinect for Xbox 360 device, we have optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which better enable PC-centric scenarios. Coupled with the numerous upgrades and improvements our team is making to the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime, the new hardware delivers features and functionality that Windows developers and Microsoft customers have been asking for.


Simple changes include shortening the USB cable to ensure reliability across a broad range of computers and the inclusion of a small dongle to improve coexistence with other USB peripherals.  Of particular interest to developers will be the new firmware which enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters.  “Near Mode” will enable a whole new class of “close up” applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360. This is one of the most requested features from the many developers and companies participating in our Kinect for Windows pilot program and folks commenting on our forums, and we’re pleased to deliver this, and more, at launch.


Another thing we’ve heard from our pilot customers is that companies exploring commercial uses of Kinect want to operate with the assurance of support and future innovation from Microsoft. As part of Microsoft’s deep commitment to NUI, we designed the Kinect for Windows commercial program to give licensed customers access to ongoing updates in both speech and human tracking (where Microsoft has been investing for years), in addition to providing fully supported Kinect hardware for Windows. We’ve been captivated by the countless creative ways companies worldwide envision how their businesses and industries can be revolutionized with Kinect, and are proud to be helping those companies to explore the profound implications NUI has for the future.


Microsoft also has just launched a new initiative, the Kinect Accelerator incubation project run by Microsoft BizSpark. I will be serving as a Mentor for this program, along with a number of other folks from Microsoft. BizSpark helps software startups through access to Microsoft software development tools, connection to key industry players (including investors) and by providing marketing visibility.  The Kinect Accelerator will give 10 tech-oriented companies using Kinect (on either Windows or Xbox360) an investment of $20,000 each, plus a number of other great perks. Applications are being accepted now through January 25th, 2012. At the end of the program, each company will have an opportunity to present at an Investor Demo Day to angel investors, venture capitalists, Microsoft executives (including me), media and industry influentials. I can’t wait to see what they (and maybe you?) come up with!

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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Beta 2 – ISO / Visual Studio 2010 Professional Beta 2 – ISO / Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 – ISO / Visual Studio 2010 Premium Beta 2 – ISO: The Essential Microsoft Download Center

Last Updated on Monday, 26 October 2009 11:36 Written by Mire_B Monday, 26 October 2009 11:36

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 download links:

- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate Beta 2 – ISO

- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional Beta 2 – ISO

- Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 2 – ISO

- Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Premium Beta 2 – ISO

- Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit – October Preview

- Visual Studio 2010 SDK Beta 2

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DirectX Software Development Kit – The Essential Microsoft Download Center

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 September 2009 03:31 Written by Mire_B Friday, 11 September 2009 02:28

DirectX Software Development Kit download link.

What’s New in the August 2009 DirectX SDK

This version of the DirectX SDK contains the following new features, tools, and documentation.

Direct3D 11 RTM

The August 2009 DirectX SDK contains the first official release of the DirectX developer resources for Direct3D 11, DXGI 1.1, Direct2D, and DirectWrite. Developers can now publish and distribute Direct3D 11 applications and games that leverage all of the software and hardware features of DirectX 11 in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

To obtain the Direct3D 11 runtime, please obtain an RTM version of Windows 7 or follow the procedure described in KB 971644. For more details, see Direct3D 11 Deployment for Game Developers

All headers, import libraries, and symbol files (.pdb files) are no longer marked as beta with the “_beta” suffix and now link to the RTM versions of the runtimes. In addition, the HLSL compiler features for Direct3D 11 are now of release quality. The beta DLLs are no longer available in the DirectX SDK.

Effects 11

The new Effects runtime for Direct3D 11 is now available. Effects 11 is provided in two parts: the D3DCompiler library and FXC. Both now support the new fx_5_0 target. Features of this new target include support for all Direct3D 11 features such as hull shaders, domain shaders, interfaces, and DirectCompute, as well as grouping of techniques within a single Effect file using the fxgroup keyword. Please refer to the documentation for more information (Effects (Direct3D 11)). The Effects 11 runtime is provided as source in the Utilities directory, including Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 projects for building the runtime into a library for use in applications. Features include effect cloning for multithreaded operation, the new shader stages, unordered access views, interfaces, and extended user-defined state control. For more information, please refer to the Effects 11 API documentation (Effect System Interfaces (Direct3D 11)).

Direct3D Compute Shader Extensions (D3DCSX)

Included in the August 2009 DirectX SDK is the D3DCSX library, which includes new technologies for utilizing DirectCompute for advanced processing on the GPU. This first version includes implementations of scan and Fast-Fourier transform that utilize Direct3D 11 capable GPUs. Scan is a data-parallel algorithm for fast calculation of averages, sums, min, max, and other values from large data sets. The Fast-Fourier transform provides conversion from temporally sampled data to frequency information. Please refer to the documentation Compute Shader Overview for more information.

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