Kinect Visualizer Demo Gives Winamp a Run for Its Money

Winamp eat your heart out, because thanks to the Microsoft Kinect in the hands of [Samarth] there’s a new way to make your screen dance along with you. He created a music visualizer demo that takes advantage of the 3D depth camera on Kinect by outputting a fun pixelated silhouette and color changing strobe. When there are big high-hat hits or bass thumps the camera feed reacts accordingly (as any good visualizer would). He even uploaded his code for the project just in case anyone would like to take a look at it.

The visualizer utilizes the OpenKinect-Processing library which has provided the backbone to many other similar Kinect art projects. It was specifically created to provide a quicker way for coders to access the raw color and depth data output by Kinect. It’s creator, Daniel Shiffman, has posted a number of tutorials to aid anyone looking to create their own real-time animations as well.

The visualizer demo (see video below) was created as part of Maker Faire Hyderabad which is happening over the weekend. The expo is the city’s first Maker Faire and is set to feature over 200 maker exhibits across multiple disciplines. It’s always great to see maker communities outside of the ones that are closest to you geographically speaking, so hopefully we’ll see many more like [Samarth] taking part in more maker events in the future.

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Holograms With The New Kinect

kinect

The Xbox One is out, along with a new Kinect sensor, and this time around Microsoft didn’t waste any time making this 3D vision sensor available for Windows. [programming4fun] got his hands on the new Kinect v2 sensor and started work on a capture system to import anything into a virtual environment.

We’ve seen [programming4fun]’s work before with an extremely odd and original build that turns any display into a 3D display with the help of a Kinect v1 sensor. This time around, [programming] isn’t just using a Kinect to display a 3D object, he’s also using a Kinect to capture 3D data.

[programming] captured himself playing a few chords on a guitar with the new Kinect v2 sensor. This was saved to a custom file format that can be played back in the Unity engine. With the help of a Kinect v1, [programming4fun] can pan and tilt around this virtual model simply by moving his head.

If that’s not enough, [programming] has also included support for the Oculus Rift, turning the Unity-based virtual copy of himself into something he can interact with in a video game.

As far as we can tell, this is the first build on Hackaday using the new Kinect sensor. We asked what everyone was going to do with this new improved hardware, and from [programming]’s demo, it seems like there’s still a lot of unexplored potential with the new Xbox One spybox.

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Kinect for Windows Resources

Despite having been out for nearly two months, the world has yet to see a decent guide to the Kinect for Windows. While the Xbox and Windows  versions of the Kinect use basically the same hardware, there are subtle but important differences. Thanks to [Matthew Leone] and his awesome summary of developer resources, getting your Kinect project up and running is now a lot easier.

After getting the SDK from the Microsoft Kinect for Windows site, you might want to check out the Microsoft Programming Guide. The Windows Kinect can only be used with Visual Studio, but with that inflexibility comes a few added features. Both versions of the Kinect have a microphone array that allows for determining the direction of a sound source. The Open Source driver has very little support for audio input, but the official Microsoft version has all the APIs for audio capture, source localization, and speech recognition ready to go.

At $250, the Kinect for Windows is a fairly hefty investment. A used Xbox Kinect can be had for around $80, so we’re pretty certain the hacker community is going to steer itself away from the Windows version. Still, if you’re ever paid to develop something for the Kinect you might want the friendly APIs and features not found in the XBox version.