In 2013, the Microsoft Research Artist in Residence program hosted James George to foster collaborations and cross-fertilization of ideas between the academic research and artistic creative coding communities.
One of George’s ongoing goals is to find ways to interact more closely with the tools he and other artists use in the creative coding world. During his time at Microsoft Research, he was able to work directly with the Kinect for Windows and Microsoft Open Technologies team to develop Kinect Common Bridge, an interface layer that sits atop the Kinect for Windows SDK to make the software-development kit more accessible for creative applications. Kinect Common Bridge addresses an audience of creative individuals who don’t consider themselves “developers.” It emphasizes simplicity over features, and enables those without advanced programming knowledge to become productive quickly.
“Artists approach coding from a different mentality and need a different language,” George explains. “Microsoft was open to embracing the lessons we had learned from open-source initiatives and bringing that thinking into the platform itself. Simple programming interfaces and the generosity of an open-source community are what made the Kinect platform popular with creative coders when it was released, and Microsoft understands how crucial that is for the adoption of Kinect as a platform for digital art.”