When we first got an early look at Kinect Fusion at Microsoft's research labs back in December 2011 it seemed like a technology that would take years to be made available as a product, but Microsoft is doing that very soon. The software maker announced today that the 3D object scanning capabilities of Kinect Fusion will be baked into the Kinect for Windows SDK in a future release. Alongside an update for hand recognition, Kinect is getting even more powerful for developers.

Microsoft has previously demonstrated the capabilities of Kinect Fusion, using the technology to make a 3D scan of Sir Isaac Newton's death mask, cast from Newton's face following his death. The new feature will allow developers and engineers to create highly detailed 3D maps and models of objects extremely quickly. "With Kinect Fusion, we allow the user to hold the camera, explore their space, and rapidly scan the world around them," says Microsoft senior researcher Shahram Izadi. Microsoft says the feature will be available in "a future release of the Kinect for Windows SDK" that is due soon.