At long last, developers will no longer need to rely on unofficial open source drivers to create sweet Kinect hacks. Microsoft's official Windows Kinect development kits are available for all to download. Minority Report's future starts now.
Originally limited to the Xbox 360, Kinect spawned a multitude of creative "hacks" by developers around the world. We've covered many of them on DVICE before. It's good to see Microsoft is making good on its promise to open up the device to developers small and large. Despite all the negative press that hackers are getting, not all of them are out to destroy society.
In fact, most people forget that hackers are some of the smartest people out there. You can't exactly be an idiot and think you can and take down the CIA's website. By embracing homebrewers and independent developers, Microsoft's letting anybody with talent develop for Kinect, which is sure to open up entire worlds of innovations.
With access to official Kinect drivers, developers will be able to bring all sorts of motion tracking and voice recognition ideas to fruition. For example, picture controller-less multimedia interfaces and web browsers that are completely gesture and voice activated. With so much demand for Kinect development, it might even be wise for Microsoft to start a Kinect App Store.
Go forth developers, and code some cool stuff. Might we suggest a Kinect DVICE app that lets you browse our wonderful galleries without having to click left and right arrows, but rather with flicks?