Find answers to frequently asked questions about the Kinect for Windows SDK beta.

What is the Kinect for Windows SDK Beta?

Kinect(TM) for Windows(R) Software Development Kit (SDK) Beta from Microsoft Research is a starter kit for software developers, to make it easier for academic, research and enthusiast communities to create rich experiences using Kinect sensor technology on the PC. It is intended for experimentation and exploration and we look forward to seeing the creative results!

What does the Kinect for Windows SDK Beta include?

The beta SDK includes:

  • Drivers, for using a Kinect sensor device with a Windows-based PC.
  • API and device interfaces, together with technical documentation for developers.
  • Source code samples.
  • Documentation for creatively exploring natural user interface (NUI) possibilities for non-commercial use.
Who is it for?

Anyone with an interest and development skills can use this beta SDK for their personal programming projects. We have released it especially for computer scientists, scientific researchers in academia, and technical enthusiasts who are interested in exploring the amazing possibilities enabled by the Kinect sensor and related technologies. Those with an interest in bringing their applications to market are encouraged to experiment with the beta SDK, but under the terms of the beta SDK license cannot yet make applications available commercially. This restriction is to ensure that the end users of the applications made with the Kinect for Windows SDK benefit from the full features and stability of the future commercial release.

What license terms apply to the use of the beta SDK?

The license is viewable during the installation process, and a copy is included in the installation directory as "EULA.RTF" and available online. It is a license specially written for the beta SDK. We will review future license requirements as the beta SDK evolves into a full commercial release.

The beta SDK is licensed for non-commercial use only. The applications you build using the beta SDK must also meet the terms of the beta SDK license. While you can distribute your applications that you make with the beta SDK for non-commercial use, the license does not permit the redistribution of any of the components of the beta SDK itself (other than some source code samples provided with the beta SDK, as provided in the license agreement).

We envisage this restriction as temporary while the beta SDK is in its pre-commercial state. Stay tuned!

What kinds of non-commercial activities are allowed?

The beta SDK has been developed specifically to encourage wide exploration and experimentation by academic, research and enthusiast communities.

Under the terms of the license, some of the key types of activities covered under non-commercial use are:

  • Scholarly research, including research funded by research grants from government agencies or non-profit institutions.
  • Classroom teaching (even if you are paid for that teaching) and investigative student projects.
  • Professional research and personal experimentation to understand the capabilities and possibilities for the Kinect device in the Windows environment, and for general exploration of natural user interface (NUI) concepts.
  • Exhibits and demonstrations (even if you are paid for exhibiting or producing the exhibit/demo).