Kinect for Windows SDK Beta

Established: April 15, 2011

Kinect for Windows figures (opens in new tab)The Kinect for Windows SDK beta, created by Microsoft Research, was a programming toolkit for application developers. It enabled easy access to the capabilities offered by the Microsoft Kinect device connected to computers running the Windows 7 operating system. The Kinect for Windows SDK beta included drivers, rich APIs for raw sensor streams and natural user interfaces, installation documents, and resource materials. It provided Kinect capabilities to developers who build applications with C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.


For the latest version, visit the Kinect for Windows (opens in new tab) product site.


The SDK included the following features:

  • Raw sensor streams Access to raw data streams from the depth sensor, color camera sensor, and four-element microphone array enables developers to build upon the low-level streams that are generated by the Kinect sensor.
  • Skeletal tracking The capability to track the skeleton image of one or two people moving within the Kinect field of view make it easy to create gesture-driven applications.
  • Advanced audio capabilities Audio processing capabilities include sophisticated acoustic noise suppression and echo cancellation, beam formation to identify the current sound source, and integration with the Windows speech recognition API.
  • Sample code and documentation The SDK includes more than 100 pages of technical documentation. In addition to built-in help files, the documentation includes detailed walkthroughs for most samples provided with the SDK.
  • Easy installation The SDK installs quickly, requires no complex configuration, and the complete installer size is less than 100 MB. Developers can get up and running in just a few minutes with a standard standalone Kinect sensor unit (widely available at retail outlets).


Portrait of Alicia Edelman Pelton

Alicia Edelman Pelton

Principal Program Manager

Portrait of Tony Carbary

Tony Carbary

Senior Designer

Portrait of ThuVan Pham

ThuVan Pham

Senior Software Engineer

Portrait of Ricardo Gutierrez

Ricardo Gutierrez

Senior Software Engineer

Portrait of David Johnston

David Johnston

Principal Software Design Engineer

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Darren Gehring

Principal Software Engr Mgr

Portrait of Chuck Needham

Chuck Needham

R&D Senior Service Engineer

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Anoop Gupta

Emeritus Researcher

Portrait of Ann Paradiso

Ann Paradiso

Principal Research Designer

Portrait of Wei-ge Chen

Wei-ge Chen

Principal Software Architect