Microsoft Brings Kinect Into the UWP Fold With Windows 10 Update
Kinect's heyday may have come and gone, but Microsoft still stands behind the low-cost sensor. In the upcoming Anniversary Update for Windows 10, the company plans to help developers who have jumped aboard Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) application model to exploit Kinect's capabilities and integrate them into their software.
UWP apps are code-once, run-anywhere affairs, allowing developers to target multiple Windows device classes without having to rewrite their software for each. In practice, developers can write a Windows 10 UWP app for the PC and it will run on Windows 10 smartphones, tablets and even the Xbox One video game console with little to no modification to the underlying code.
The trouble with UWP, at least as it pertains to Kinect, is that apps written for the platform cannot access most of the sensor data generated by the hardware. "Today, there are several sensors that can provide rich correlated data, such as RGB, IR or depth information," wrote Microsoft's Kinect for Windows team in a blog post.
Microsoft plans to remedy this with this summer's Windows 10 Anniversary Update, an updated driver and a new software development kit.
Microsoft is breathing new life into Kinect by enabling support for the motion-sensing peripheral in upcoming Universal Windows Platform apps.
"To make such data available to app developers in a device-independent manner, we introduced the Windows.Media.Capture.Frames APIs, a set of extensions to Media Capture that add frame-by-frame access to RGB, IR [infrared] and depth data, as well as sensor correlation to the traditional image and video-capture features, all with a consistent, familiar programming model," continued the company's staffers. Media Capture is a Windows runtime API that enables the operating system to capture video and audio content.