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It was only yesterday that I reported that Microsoft would release the beta for Kinect for Window SDK and now it's out. If you'd like to check out the Kinect for Windows SDK at no cost for development of noncommercial applications which can be downloaded here.
Also, to celebrate the release, Microsoft have invited a select group of developers to the Microsoft campus in Redmond, challenging them to test the limits of their imaginations using the SDK in a Channel 9 24-hour coding marathon dubbed "Code Camp". Developers will be working with the new toolkit and are expected to built concept applications across a diverse range of scenarios, including, potentially, healthcare, science and education.
Projects from Code Camp will be shown in a live broadcast on Channel 9 today from 10am - 2pm PDT with highlights to be found on the Microsoft News Center.
It is rumored that Microsoft plan to release the beta of Kinect for Windows SDK this week during a special developer event on Thursday. Microsoft is planning to stream a Channel 9 special event at 9:30AM PST on Thursday to celebrate the release of Kinect for Windows SDK beta. María Garaña, President of Microsoft Spain, revealed on Wednesday that Microsoft plans to make the SDK available this week.
Microsoft's Kinect for Windows SDK beta is set to include support for:
Robust Skeletal Tracking for high-performance capabilities that track the skeleton image of one or two persons moving within the Kinect field of view
Advanced Audio Capabilities, including four-element microphone array with sophisticated acoustic noise and echo cancellation for great audio; beam formation to identify the current sound source and integration with the Windows speech recognition API is also included
XYZ depth camera for standard color camera stream access and depth data that indicates the distance of the object from the Kinect camera.
Danish-based Chill Innovation have just announced what they dub "The ultimate Media Keyboard on the Market", a bold statement. The Micro Wireless Keyboard with Touchpad supports not only standard PCs and HTPCs but also Tablet PCs, PDAs, Android and iPhone, iPad, Symbian, Windows Mobile and even the Playstation 3 - not only that, it'll work with any any device that has support for Bluetooth HID keyboards.
This bit is marketing awesomeness, with Chill Innovation saying it has a "Compact design and high WAF". For a minute, you'll wonder what the heck WAF is, well, WAF is Wife Acceptance Factor. This is a key factor in any marriage, tech that your wife will approve it. The keyboard boasts an impressive compatibility list, as well as standing out from the over-crowded keyboard markt with a compact size that resembles a TV remote yet still holds a fully functional 71 keys keyboard with an integrated touchpad.
E3 2011 - E3 is this week and to kick things off we have an announcement from SteelSeries about their upcoming Diablo 3 themed products. SteelSeries will be releasing a Diablo 3 mouse, headset and two QcK mousepads. SteelSeries CMO Kim Rom says:
The level of excitement for the Diablo III release is massive. When the opportunity was presented to partner up with Blizzard for a new family of co-branded peripherals, we knew that they had to be engineered for this particular type of gameplay by being both durable and able to bring out the Diablo III theme onto a player's desktop. The mouse offers both simplicity for new players and unprecedented durability that will support the series' distinctive mouse-driven gameplay, while the headset optimizes the high, spine-chilling snarls of otherworldly creatures and the booming lows of a barbarian battle cry. Together, the headset and mouse will help immerse players into the game through their extended comfort, compelling designs and high performance.
Do Bluetooth devices frustrate anyone else? Sometimes they connect, other times they don't. Sometimes a coworker in the vicinity accidentally hijacks your discoverable mouse. Sometimes you forget to turn it off before you head home for the day only to find a dead mouse on your desk the next morning. Sometimes, or rather, alltimes, you wish you had more versatility with your USB ports. There's a solution- today HP announced the new, and very first of its kind, Wi-Fi mouse.
This mouse connects to your computer simply and directly through its Wi-Fi connection, and can be operated up to 30 feet away from the computer (Bluetooth devices have similar operating paramaters). More importantly, it has a 9-month battery life. Some actual mice don't even survive that long (especially where my grandmother is concerned).
The design isn't too shabby either, with a 4-way scroll wheel (up and down and side-to-side my friends), 5 customizable buttons and a "sculpted form" with rubber sides to ensure the latest luxury in comfortability. It's yours in June for $50- kinda steep, but with a 9-month battery life it's not like you're going to need another. Check out the video above and the press release below for more info.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Logitech - Logitech diNovo Mini Wireless Keyboard for $79.99 with Free Shipping.
Offer: A great price on a brand new (dented box only - full warranty) and the very popular diNovo Mini keyboard. Get it quick before the coupon or offer runs out. Use coupon code: logi_dmini_41511 (copy and paste carefully please - no expiration date set, may expire at any time)
Mionix have unveiled their first mechanical keyboard to the market today, the gaming-orientated "Zibal 60". The board sports some sexy looking Cherry MX Black switches, which have a linear (non-tactile) travel, require about 60 grams of force to actuate and are typically favored among FPS gamers.
The Zibal 60 has "rage-proof durability" which is thanks to its 1.6mm-thick steel frame - obviously this is added at the FPS market as it's full of rage at times (myself included). The Zibal 60 features green multi-level backlighting that can illuminate the entire board or just the cluster of WASD keys. The spec sheet lists support for up to six simultaneous key presses (6KRO) via USB. On the top right of the keyboard is an I/O hub with two full-speed USB2.0 ports and audio/mic jacks.
Microsoft have had runaway success with their Kinect for Xbox and within days of launch third-party drivers were developed which enabled the technology to work on Windows. This even surprised Microsoft and in a strange, yet great move, they've released the SDK. With the SDK release comes some very cool things like compatibility with Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope.
The above video shows the program having hand gestures to zoom out of our solar system, swing the cameras view around and it seems quite natural. The demonstration is awesome and makes me want to use Kinect on PC with WorldWide Telescope. The program is cool enough as it is, but hand gestures? Nice one, Microsoft.
Our Deal of the Day today is the Lenovo US (ThinkPad) - Lenovo Multimedia Remote with Keyboard for Only $27 with FREE Shipping!!.
Offer: It's back at the new low price! One of the all time favorite gadgets for nearly everyone, if you still don't have one, or want to pick up another (or 3) get it today. This handy remote features a keyboard and a trackball for wireless remote connectivity of your media center (or others) from the comfort of your couch.
Engadget's review and a good size reference as well. HERE
Use ecoupon: USPC11A16336 (expires 4/11/11)
This gem is brought to you by my Kinect hashtag search on Twitter- I sincerely recommend all of you institute the same on your Twitter client, people do cool things with Kinect every day.
This doesn't look like a "hack" so much as some sort of partnership (I don't know if you're allowed to sell Kinect-based software). Win&I allegedly gives the user manual, sensory-based control over Windows 7, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Windows Media Center- and evidently, "Thousands of Applications".
What? Really? C'mon. Thousands? Microsoft Office? What about typing? This sounds suspiciously like an April Fool's Prank.
Anyway, dubious as I am to its implementation possibilities, it is available for only 20 euros- which is pretty decent for the ability to turn your desktop into a pseudo Minority Report work-station.
The process still looks a bit...awkward. And there's that guy shouting WIN AND I at you the entire time. But this could be the real beginning of professional uses of motion-recognition. Check out the video, and tell us what you think: