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Kinect for Windows SDK v1.5 With Kinect Studio Available Now for Download

May 21, 2012 No Comments

The Kinect for Windows SDK was just updated to Version 1.5 and it now includes a tool called Kinect Studio.

Check out the whole change log below


Changes since the Kinect for Windows SDK v1.0 release

The Kinect for Windows v1.5 SDK, driver, and runtime are 100% compatible with Kinect for Windows v1.0 application binaries.

Kinect for Windows Developer Toolkit

  • As of this release, the SDK has been divided into a core SDK and a developer toolkit.  These are two separate installs.
  • Samples
  • All Samples have been moved into the toolkit
  • We’ve continued significant sample investments in v1.5. There are many new samples in both C++ or C#. In addition, we’ve included a “Basics” series of samples with language coverage in C++, C# and Visual Basic. To explore the list of new and updated samples, please launch the Developer Toolkit Browser and explore.
  • Components
  • We’ve taken KinectSensorChooser, formerly part of the WpfViewers and split the logic and UI into two different classes: KinectSensorChooser and KinectSensorChooserUI in Microsoft.Kinect.Toolkit.dll.
  • KinectSensorChooser could be used in non-WPF scenarios as it is logic only, no UI.
  • KinectSensorChooserUI (used with a KinectSensorChooser instance) is a WPF experience that has undergone significant improvements in user experience. ShapeGame has been migrated to use it.


Kinect Studio is a new tool which allows you to record and playback Kinect data to aid in development. For example: A developer writing a Kinect for Windows application for use in a shopping center, can record clips of users in the target environment and then replay those clips at a later time for development and test purposes.

Notes on Kinect Studio:

  • Kinect Studio must be used in conjunction with a Kinect for Windows application. Start the application, then start Kinect Studio, and you can then playback and record clips. When you play a clip back, it will be fed into the application as if it was live Kinect data.
  • Using Kinect Studio puts additional load on your machine which may result in a drop in frame rate. Using a faster CPU and memory will improve performance.
  • Your temporary file location (set via Tool/Options) should not be a network location.
  • See known Issues section below

Skeletal tracking in Near Range available

  • It is now possible to receive Skeletal Tracking data when the Kinect camera is in the Near Range Setting.
  • This setting is disabled by default to ensure backwards compatibility with 1.0 application
  •         Enable it through the SkeletonStream.EnableTrackingInNearRange property (managed code), or by including the NUI_SKELETON_TRACKING_FLAG_ENABLE_IN_NEAR_RANGE flag when calling NuiSkeletonTrackingEnable (native code).
  • This works with both SkeletonTrackingMode set to Default or Seated.
  • We suggest to use the Seated mode when using Near Range, since in most scenarios the player body will not be entirely visible. Ensure the torso and the head of the players are visible for locking.

Seated skeletal tracking is now available

  • This mode tracks a 10-joint head/shoulders/arms skeleton, ignoring the leg and hip joints.
  • It is not restricted to seated positions; it also tracks head/shoulders/arms when you are standing.
  • Seated mode has been added to Skeletal Viewer (C++) and Kinect Explorer (C#). To try out the mode to understand its tracking ability, launch one of those applications and change the tracking setting from Default to Seated.
  • For information on enabling Seated Mode, see the docs under Programming Guide -> Natural User Interface
  • Seated mode skeletal tracking has higher performance requirements than Default mode, especially when tracking two players. You may notice reduced frame rate depending on the configuration of your system.

Runtime Improvements

  • KinectSensor.MapDepthFrameToColorFrame performance improvements: this the performance of this operation has been significantly improved with an average speed increase of 5x
  • Depth and color frames will now be kept in sync with each other. The Kinect for Windows runtime will continuously monitor the depth and color streams and ensure that there is minimal drift between them.
  • In managed code you will see that the frames returned from the KinectSensor.AllFramesReady event will have been captured at nearly the same time and will have timestamps that verify this.

RGB Image quality

  • The RGB camera stream quality has been improved for the RGB 640×480 @30fps and YUV 640×480 @15fps video modes.
  • The image quality is now sharper and more color-accurate in high and low lighting conditions.

Joint Orientation

  • Kinect for Windows runtime provides Joint Orientation information for the skeletons tracked by the ST pipeline.
  • The Joint Orientation is provided in two forms:
  • A Hierarchical Rotation based on a bone relationship defined on the ST joint structure
  • An Absolute Orientation in Kinect camera coordinates.
  • The orientation information is provided in form of Quaternions and Rotation Matrices; however, the Quaternion values have a known bug in M2 which will be fixed for v1.5 final.  Please use the matrices with M2.
  • This information can be used in Avatar animation scenarios as well as simple pose detection.
  • Note: please ignore the Joint Orientation confidence level, it will be removed in the final release.


New supported languages for speech recognition

  • Acoustic models have been created to allow speech recognition in several additional locales.
  • • These are runtime components which are packaged individually and are available here.
  • Additional locales now supported:
    • en-AU
    • en-CA
    • en-GB
    • en-IE
    • en-NZ
    • es-ES
    • es-MX
    • fr-CA
    • fr-FR
    • it-IT
    • jp-JP

ace Tracking SDK

  • The Face Tracking component tracks face position, orientation and facial features in real time.
  • A 3D mesh of the tracked face along with eye-brow position and mouth shape is animated in real time.
  • Multiple faces can be tracked simultaneously.
  • Face Tracking components can be used in native C++ code and a managed wrapper is provide for C# and VB projects.


  • Docs improvements
  • Bug fixes, stability, etc.
  • Other
  • Documentation improvements
    • Improved documentation content
    • The documentation is now online in MSDN Library. F1 help in Visual Studio will take you to API documentation online.
    • The SDK Documentation CHM file is no longer distributed by setup. Online documentation URL is: here.
  • Bug fixes, stability, etc.

You can download the new SDK here

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