RTM’d today: Programming with the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit

cover_kinectSDKWe’re happy to announce that Programming with the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (ISBN 9780735666818) has shipped to the printer! If you are a developer who wants to learn how to add gesture and posture recognition to your applications, check out David Catuhe’s book. This guide to the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit is full of insights and code samples that teach you how to integrate Kinect in your apps and help you begin writing UIs and controls that can handle Kinect interaction.

The book will be shipped to retailers in just a couple weeks. In the meantime, preorder your copy here, here, or here.

Catuhe is a developer evangelist at Microsoft who says that “fell in love” with Kinect for Windows the first time he used it. Read on to learn more about his passion for this technology in this excerpt from the book’s Introduction.

But first, a quick look at the book’s contents:


Contents at a Glance

CHAPTER 1  A bit of background
CHAPTER 2  Who’s there?

CHAPTER 3  Displaying Kinect data
CHAPTER 4  Recording and playing a Kinect session

CHAPTER 5  Capturing the context
CHAPTER 6  Algorithmic gestures and postures
CHAPTER 7  Templated gestures and postures
CHAPTER 8  Using gestures and postures in an application

CHAPTER 9  You are the mouse!
CHAPTER 10  Controls for Kinect
CHAPTER 11  Creating augmented reality with Kinect


Introduction (excerpt)

I am always impressed when science fiction and reality meet. With Kinect for Windows, this is definitely the case, and it is exciting to be able to control the computer with only our hands, without touching any devices, just like in the movie “Minority Report.”

I fell in love with Kinect for Windows the first time I tried it. Being able to control my computer with gestures and easily create augmented reality applications was like a dream come true for me. The ability to create an interface that utilizes the movements of the user fascinated me, and that is why I decided to create a toolbox for Kinect for Windows to simplify the detection of gestures and postures.

This book is the story of that toolbox. Each chapter allows you to add new tools to your Kinect toolbox. And at the end, you will find yourself with a complete working set of utilities for creating applications with Kinect for Windows.

Who should read this book

Kinect for Windows offers an extraordinary new way of communicating with the computer. And every day, I see plenty of developers who have great new ideas about how to use it—they want to set up Kinect and get to work.

If you are one of these developers, this book is for you. Through sample code, this book will show you how the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit works—and how you can develop your own experience with a Kinect sensor.


For the sake of simplification, I use C# as the primary language for samples, but you can use other .NET languages or even C++ with minimal additional effort. The sample code in this book also uses WPF 4.0 as a hosting environment. This book expects that you have at least a minimal understanding of C#, WPF development, .NET development, and object-oriented programming concepts.

Who should not read this book

This book is focused on providing the reader with sample code to show the possibilities of developing with the Kinect for Windows SDK, and it is clearly written for developers, by a developer. If you are not a developer or someone with coding skills, you might consider reading a more introductory book such as Start Here! Learn the Kinect API by Rob Miles (Microsoft Press, 2012).

Organization of this book

This book is divided into four sections. Part I, “Kinect at a glance,” provides a quick tour of Kinect for Windows SDK and describes how it works. Part II, “Integrate Kinect in your application,” shows you how to develop tools to integrate Kinect seamlessly into your own applications. Part III, “Postures and gestures,” focuses on how to develop a rich postures and gestures recognition system. Finally, Part IV, “Creating a user interface for Kinect,” covers the use of Kinect as a new input mechanism and describes how you can create an augmented reality application.

Finding your best starting point in this book

The different sections cover a wide range of technologies associated with the Kinect for Windows SDK. Depending on your needs and your familiarity with Kinect, you may want to focus on specific areas of the book. Use the following table to determine how best to proceed through the book.

Most of the book’s chapters include hands-on samples that let you try out the concepts just learned. No matter which sections you choose to focus on, be sure to download and install the sample applications on your system.

System requirements

You will need the following hardware and software to use the code presented in this book:

■ Windows 7 or Windows 8 (32-bit or 64-bit edition)
■ Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express or other Visual Studio 2010 edition
■ .NET Framework 4 (installed with Visual Studio 2010)
■ XNA Game Studio 4
■ 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processors
■ Dual-core, 2.66-GHz or faster processor
■ USB 2.0 bus dedicated to the Kinect
■ 2 GB of RAM
■ Graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c
■ Kinect for Windows sensor

Depending on your Windows configuration, you might require Local Administrator rights to install or configure Visual Studio 2010.

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