Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces

Overview

Meet the Kinect introducesthe 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 ...

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Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces

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Overview

Meet the Kinect introducesthe 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 asProcessing 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 accessibleto 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. Getting Started
  2. Behind the Technology
  3. Applications in the Wild
  4. Scripting the Kinect
  5. Many Ways to Kinect
  6. Application Development with PrimeSense's NITE Framework
  7. Application Development with the Beckon Framework
  8. Application Development with Microsoft's Windows/XBOX Framework
  9. Volumetric Display Techniques
  10. Where to Go From Here?
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430238881
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 12/23/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 220
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sean Kean is an artist and entrepreneur living in Brooklyn, New York. With a background spanning engineering, art, education, and travel, he is passionate about simplifying complex technology in order to make tools more accessible to others. Insatiable in his curiosity, the author has filled his passport as a flight attendant, rediscovered learning through play as an early childhood educator, studied the streets and buildings of New York City in order to earn both a taxi driver license and real estate sales license, and has been programming well enough to be dangerous for more than 20 years. Sean is currently working to bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds at HERE, Inc. (http://here.st), to bring volumetric 3D TVs mainstream with the VoxieBox (www.voxiebox.com), and to help professionals working with volumetric depth cameras, software, and displays to connect to each other through the Volumetric Society (www.volumetric.org) via a publication, conference, and local chapter meetups you can help set up in your city.

Jonathan C. Hall is one of the creators of Sensecast, an application that makes it easy to build motion-controlled interfaces for content using a Kinect. He has been an independent designer/developer for digital projects for the last decade. Hall has also done stints as a beat reporter, a researcher for the smartest person in the world, a technology consultant to the likes of Rob Jarvik and King Abdullah II of Jordan, and a student of the sciences and humanities. Jonathan holds a BA from Harvard University, where he studied languages and religion, and about half a PhD (Communications) from Columbia University.

Phoenix Perry was born in Denver, CO, in 1975. From digital arts curator to Creative Director, she has gained extensive experience in new media, design, and user interfaces. Perry's work spans a large range of disciplines, including drawing, generative art, video, games, and sound. Her projects have been seen worldwide at venues and festivals, including Come out and Play, the Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science, the Lincoln Center, Transmediale, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the LAMCA, Harvest Works, Babycastles, the European Media Arts Festival, GenArt, the Seoul Film Festival, and Harvestworks. She is adjunct faculty at NYU-Poly in Integrated Digital Media and owns Devotion Gallery in Brooklyn, NY.

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