Kinect Tech: Skeletal Mapping, Gestures and Accuracy

The Kinect has really fired people’s imaginations and there’s some great work happening right now – I can’t wait until I become a part of it =D

1.) The OpenNI library working with the Kinect to perform skeletal mapping:

2.) Using gestures and voice commands to navigate medical imagery:

3.) Apparently Microsoft are working on modifying the Kinect to quadruple its 3D sensing (structured light camera) accuracy from 320×200 to 640×480, at which point it will be able to detect fingers and other small features: ms-quadrupling-kinect-accuracy [eurogamer].

How To: Build OpenKinect/LibFreenect in Linux

The Kinect just came out in Australia today, so I’m already a little bit late to the party, but I’m keen to see what I can do with it so I went and picked one up earlier – a couple of minutes after unboxing and it’s happily working with Linux. Awesome =D

The GLView example running on LibFreenect
The GLView example running on LibFreenect

Anyways, here’s what you need to do to build the library for yourself:

  1. Using synaptic or apt-get, install the following packages: libusb1.0-dev, freeglut3-dev, git, cmake
    sudo apt-get install libusb1.0-dev freeglut3-dev git cmake
  2. It’s possible you may need to install some other packages as well depending on what you currently have or don’t have installed, but if you need anything additional then cmake will let you know about it when you get to that step.

  3. Download the libFreenect source code using git (this will make a directory for you called libfreenect):
    git clone
  4. Make a directory inside the c folder where you’ve downloaded the libFreenect source code and use cmake to configure the build:
    cd libfreenect/c
    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake ..
  5. Actually compile the library:

That’s it – you’re done!

Now you can check out what the kinect’s seeing by going into the examples directory (which will now exist at ~/libfreenect/build/examples) and running ./glview as root:

cd examples
sudo ./glview

I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with this… =D

Kinect Hacked – Open-Source Drivers Available!

Woo-hoo! Microsoft’s Kinect computer vision hardware for the XBox 360 (which uses the structured light technique for motion detection) now has open source Linux drivers available for it – and it took one talented hacker a whole three hours to do it!

Read more here.

To re-appropriate Sony’s marketing pitch: This changes Everything =D

Unrelatedly, the dude in the video has the exact same laptop as me – an Acer 8920G, unless he has an 8930G which has an additional TV-Tuner card.