Microsoft has reportedly confirmed it's to release an SDK for Kinect in March. The software will initially be limited to non-commercial use.
The move confirms a previous rumour that the company was preparing to officially open up the 360 motion camera to PC developers.
Microsoft said today that a commercial version of the SDK - which will allow people to make Kinect-based apps and games for profit - will follow at an unspecified date.
The initial release will be a starter kit "to make it simpler for the academic research and enthusiast communities to create rich natural user interfaces using Kinect technology," said Microsoft in a statement.
"The SDK will give users access to deep Kinect system information such as audio, system application-programming interfaces, and direct control of the Kinect sensor."
The software will be runable on Windows 7.
Microsoft games boss Don Mattrick made the announcement on Monday during a session with journalists on the firm's Redmond campus.
“Microsoft’s investments in natural user interfaces are vital to our long-term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us,” added Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer.
“The fruits of these research investments are manifesting across many of our products, Kinect for Xbox 360 among them.”
Microsoft has previously said that it shipped more than 8 million Kinect units in 60 days from launching the device last year.