Kinect for Windows has inspired developers to create some really impressive applications. That's apparently not good enough, though, as Microsoft is now making Kinect for Windows partially open source to encourage more development on the platform.
The Kinect for Windows team that its sample code is now open source under an Apache 2.0 license. The 22 samples are available in C#, C++ and Visual Basic.
So, why go open source? The team says that there are four reasons for the move:
Easy Access -> we will continue to release our sample applications as part of our Developer Toolkit. However, that’s a large download & install that can be cumbersome if you just want to quickly view or access code on the web
Reuse The Code -> we’re releasing all the samples under an Apache 2.0 license so that you can take the code and reuse, remix, etc. Also, we’re using a Git repository so it’s easy clone & fork if you want
Get Feedback -> we will use CodePlex's built-in feedback & discussion tools to get community input on the samples. We want to hear from you to understand what we can do better with the samples
Faster Updates -> we will be able to update samples more quickly on CodePlex (compared to Toolkit releases). CodePlex also has a “Subscribe” feature that enables you to follow the project and get notified when something changes, a bug gets fixed, someone says something smart in the discussions, etc.
The majority of the code will still remain proprietary, but the release of code samples should at least help push Kinect for Windows development into new areas. The sensor has already provided a number of unique applications, and developers being able to muck around with the code might yield even more interesting results.
All of this news was posted on Microsoft's new Kinect development blog. It will be kept separate from the regular Kinect for Windows blog, and will focus entirely on "going behind the scenes with the K4W engineering team and will go deeper on the technology and APIs, share tips & tricks, and provide other tidbits of information relevant to those building K4W applications."