Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces

Book Description

Meet the Kinect introduces the exciting world of volumetric computing using the Microsoft Kinect. You'll learn to write scripts and software enabling the use of the Kinect as an input device. Interact directly with your computer through physical motion. The Kinect will read and track body movements, and is the bridge between the physical reality in which you exist and the virtual world created by your software.

Microsoft's Kinect was released in fall 2010 to become the fastest-selling electronic device ever. For the first time, we have an inexpensive, three-dimensional sensor enabling direct interaction between human and computer, between the physical world and the virtual. The Kinect has been enthusiastically adopted by a growing culture of enthusiasts, who put it to work in creating technology-based art projects, three-dimensional scanners, adaptive devices for sight-impaired individuals, new ways of interacting with PCs, and even profitable business opportunities.

Meet the Kinect is the resource to get you started in mastering the Kinect and the exciting possibilities it brings. You'll learn about the Kinect hardware and what it can do. You'll install drivers and learn to download and run the growing amount of Kinect software freely available on the Internet. From there, you'll move into writing code using some of the more popular frameworks and APIs, including the official Microsoft API and the language known as Processing that is popular in the art and creative world.

Along the way, you'll learn principles and terminology. Volumetric computing didn't begin with the Kinect. The field is decades old—if you've ever had an MRI, for example, you have benefitted from volumetric computing technology. Meet the Kinect goes beyond just the one device to impart the principles and terminology underlying the exciting field of volumetric computing that is now wide-open and accessible to the average person.

What you'll learn

  • Install drivers to connect your Kinect to your PC, whether running Windows or Mac OSX

  • Download and run the growing body of software freely available via the Internet

  • Write scripts in the popular Processing language

  • Take advantage of Microsoft's Kinect SDK for Windows

  • Choose a software development environment that suits your needs

  • Grasp principles and terminology underlying the Kinect technology

  • Who this book is for

    Meet the Kinect is aimed at technology enthusiasts, including programmers, artists, and entrepreneurs who are fascinated by the possibilities arising from the direct, human-computer interaction enabled by the Microsoft Kinect. The book is for anyone who wants to take advantage of the growing body of software for the Kinect, and for those who wish to write their own programs and scripts involving the Kinect as an input device.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title
    2. Dedication
    3. Contents at a Glance
    4. Contents
    5. About the Authors
    6. About the Technical Reviewer
    7. Acknowledgments
    8. Chapter 1: Getting Started
      1. Buying the Correct Kinect
      2. Separating a Kinect from an Xbox
      3. Making Sure You Have the AC Adapter
      4. Inspecting the Kinect, Part by Part
      5. Downloading and Installing Software
      6. Testing your Kinect
    9. Chapter 2: Behind the Technology
      1. Understanding the Technology Stack
      2. Hardware
      3. Structured Light Camera Systems
      4. Time–of–Flight Camera Systems
      5. Drivers & Data
      6. Middleware and Application Development Environments
    10. Chapter 3: Applications in the Wild
      1. Sensecast: Minority Report Meets the Web
      2. Ultra Seven
      3. Kamehameha
      4. Body Dysmorphia
      5. MatterPort
    11. Chapter 4: Scripting the Kinect
      1. Processing
      2. Kinect for Processing on Windows
      3. Kinect for Processing on Mac OS X
      4. Processing Plus Kinect: Beyond This Book
    12. Chapter 5: Kinect for Creatives
      1. MaxMSP
      2. Flash Actionscript
      3. openFrameworks
      4. Cinder
      5. Now, Go Forth and Create!
    13. Chapter 6: Application Development with the Beckon Framework
      1. What is Beckon?
      2. Installing Beckon
      3. Activating Beckon
      4. Getting Started
      5. Incorporating Beckon with Flash
      6. Understanding the Beckon Flash Example
      7. Modifying the Beckon Flash Example
      8. Designing A Custom Gesture
      9. Adding a New Gesture to the SDK
      10. Adding a Gesture for use by Flash
      11. Building Functionality Based on a Gesture
    14. Chapter 7: 3D Games and User Interfaces with Unity
      1. Installing Unity and Supporting Software
      2. Exploring the Unity Interface
      3. Understanding ZigFu's Relation to Unity
      4. OpenNI and NITE
      5. Avatar2Players
      6. Creating a Skeleton from Scratch
      7. Creating a Custom Hand Tracker
    15. Chapter 8: Microsoft's Kinect SDK
      1. Coding4Fun
      2. Kinect SDK Pros and Cons
      3. Getting Started with the Kinect SDK
      4. Building a Simple Application
      5. Need More?
    16. Chapter 9: Volumetric Display Techniques
      1. Static Volume Displays
      2. Projection onto Static Volumes
      3. Swept Volume Displays
      4. Pepper's Ghost-Based Displays
      5. Multi View Autostereoscopic Flatscreens
      6. Laser Plasma Emission Displays
      7. Free-space Aerosol Displays
      8. Projected Light Field Arrays
    17. Chapter 10: Where Do We Go From Here?
      1. Sean Kean
      2. Phoenix Perry
      3. Johnathan C. Hall
    18. Index

    Product Information

    • Title: Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces
    • Author(s):
    • Release date: December 2011
    • Publisher(s): Apress
    • ISBN: 9781430238881