Here are the 5 or so things you need to program C++ and Kinect:
- There are four chapters of an excellent book at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh145619(v=vs.88).aspx
- Buy a Windows Kinect, not the XBox 360 Kinect, shop around, but the Windows Kinect will be supported longer. If you have an XBox 360 Kinect because you bought an XBox 360 Elite, good, use that for now. Just make sure you keep some money saved up in case the SDK won’t support your software
- Learn how to use DirectX, yep, DirectX, not XNA. Sorry, this will also get you ready for Windows 8, consider getting started with the excellent Frank Luna book on DirectX 11, the only problem is that he uses XNA classes in his program so… You could use the older versions of DirectX Books, I guess.
- Set aside at least an hour every day to practice your new skills. There is substitution to this.