While Sony are fighting a bitter battle against hackers who want to do more with their PS3s, Microsoft is welcoming Kinect hackers and PC researchers by announcing plans to bring out an official SDK for Kinect.
Slated for a Northern Hemisphere Spring release, the official Kinect PC SDK will be available for all non-commercial users and researchers (a commercial SDK will be released at a later time). PC enthusiasts have already tapped into the power of the Kinect cameras to produce a series of cool and nonsensical hacks, thanks largely to Microsoft not protecting (either intentionally as they say, or unintentionally) Kinect's USB data path.
But the official SDK promises to open up even more Kinect functions. "The SDK will give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces and direct control of the Kinect sensor," Microsoft stated.
At the Mobile World Congress, Microsoft also made the announcement that Windows Phones will soon be able to interact with Kinect games, opening up the possibility of more than 2-player simultaneous play for Kinect. In a demo shown (see video here), Windows Phone users are able to launch and control the balls in Kinect's well known Rally Ball game, while the Kinect player tries to block the balls as in a normal game.
While the demo uses real code, Microsoft says that a deliverable product is still far away. "That is real code, something we’re able to accomplish in the labs, but not a 2011 deliverable thing," Greg Sullivan, senior product manager of WP7, explained.
Discuss this news story in our comments section, or in this forum thread where you also can view the Kinect/Windows Phone interaction demo: