The recent Microsoft announcements at E3 have more or less nothing much to excite the programmer, but there is some strange news on the Kinect front.
First it is important to say that we are still waiting for the Kinect SDK and the Microsoft Research pages still say that it is due in "Spring 2011" - given it is now June they must be using a different calendar to the rest of us or spring is very very late this year.
About the only interesting announcement, apart from the emphasis on voice control, so far is Kinect Fun Labs, a free download for Xbox. This is a collection of apps that demonstrate what the Kinect can do without being actually useful. So far we have
KinectMe - a depth field body scanner that builds an avatar
Kinect Sparklers - finger tracking and graphics manipulation
Googly Eyes - object scanner used to create a 3D sprite
You can see them in action in the video demo made slightly more bearable for featuring Christopher Lloyd in all the roles:
Clearly there is scope to add more, but why exactly? It's supposed to be fun and it is for a few minutes but where do you go next? It's not as if you can put the gadgets together or extend their functionality. Overall it seems a strange move on Microsoft's part - perhaps they just needed something to announce at E3?
Come on Microsoft, we want our SDK not just gadgets!