Created within the Microsoft research labs in Cambridge, the Kinect Fusion technology is a program that constantly streams data from the real world using the Kinect sensor, to create an accurate 3D model of the environment and objects within it. After being flooded with requests to include the Kinect Fusion into the Windows SDK, Microsoft has announced the next “future release” of the SDK would incorporate the Kinect Fusion technology.
The constant streaming of data along with advanced algorithms allows the program to accurately reconstruct environments in 3D. This is accomplished by averaging readings over thousands of frames collected from input data. Additionally, the more information the sensors collect from the surrounding objects, either by moving the sensor around the object or moving the object around in front of the sensor, will allow for a more accurate reconstruction.
The $150 Kinect sensor has come a long way since its release for gaming related purposes during the Holidays of 2010. Developers noticed the potential of the technology and began using it to create cutting edge technology systems since. A similar industrial version of the Kinect Fusion technology can cost around $50,000. By releasing the new SDK, Microsoft is allowing developers to create applications that can have large advantages in the 3D printing, augmented reality, and 3D measurements communities. Along with Microsoft, I think everyone is excited to see products and systems that will be created by developers and business partners using this new tool.