This week marked a year since the Kinect took effect on the Xbox 360 and made a world-changing impact on gaming and life itself. Since the Kinect entered the market before the holidays last year and set records across the globe, we've seen tons of new games at E3 and more and more creative ways to use Kinect.
What we've also seen is professional and amateur developer teams alike come up with so many different ways to "hack" and use the Kinect that Microsoft decided to embrace the community and come up with fun things like Kinect Fun Labs.
However, there's been some interesting things brewing up on the Microsoft side as well and in 2012, we will see the fruits of their labor.
The Kinect for Windows beta SDK has already been sent out to developers and now is getting ready to go live, commercially sometime in the beginning of 2012.
Microsoft has aimed the current SDK, recently upgraded to stage two, towards schools, research facilities and hobbyists who want to build new apps using Kinect. With the medical field and other scientific studies already creating new and interesting ways to use Kinect in their professions, Microsoft noted in the press release (below) that for only $149, consumers can buy this wonderful piece of 3D, motion capture, RBG camera, audio and depth sensing, voice and facial recognition goodness. What a cheap way to immerse yourself in an intense technology!
The beta SDK was just the start for where they plan to take Kinect. When they launch this commercially, Microsoft said they plan to get more than 200 companies involved in the program in over 25 industries, "from healthcare to education, advertising and the automotive industry."
An official from Microsoft, Alex Kipman, said, "12 months from now, educational, academic and commercial applications will look nothing like what they are today."
Here's the press release from the glorious event that is one year of Kinect for Xbox 360!