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Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces (Technology in Action)

Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces (Technology in Action) [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Hall , Phoenix Perry , Sean Kean
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Print List Price: £23.99
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Product Description

Product 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. 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?

About the Author

Sean Kean is an artist, entrepreneur, and technologist living on the edge of bohemian culture in an industrial loft in Brooklyn, New York. With his background in science, art, education, and international travel, Sean brings a fresh outlook and enthusiasm as he explains the intricacies of complex technology and theory in easy-to-understand ways that even his friends in art, business, and preschool can understand. Insatiable in his curiosity, the author has filled his passport as a flight attendant for an airline chartered by the U.S. military, rediscovered learning through play as an early childhood educator, studied the streets and buildings of New York City to claim both a taxi and real estate license, and has been programming well enough to be dangerous for more than 20 years. The co-founder of, a tech startup bridging the virtual and physical worlds by providing Internet addresses for street addresses, Sean organizes the NYC OpenKinect meetup group and speaks at conferences in his free time.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5125 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (23 Dec 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430238895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430238898
  • ASIN: B006RM2KGC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #878,548 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and cheap 18 Jan 2012
I'm sorely disappointed by this. The book is nothing more than a quick walkthrough of the SDKs available for the Kinect (both open source and official - which is at the time of writing this, in Beta 2) for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. The book breifly explains the kinect technology, and shows equivalent or ancestor devices, and covers the basics (infrared beams, cameras, if you're interested in developing using the kinect or a similar device, you should already know MUCH more than the book supplies). The book then shows you brief explanations and screenshots of existing kinect projects currently in use; nothing more than you can use a search engine to find, or a quick look through Microsoft's kinect website "channel 9" will produce.

The book briefly covers a few lines of code, but expects you to look at existing code, and offers little to no explanations of the code or functions used or even why. Examples for the official SDK are in C# - which 99% of demos are (I was hoping for C++), and use the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).

In short, nothing you couldn't find on the web, and to make it worse, you wouldn't even need to go to a second page of search results to cover everything this book ever so briefly looks at.

Level: Beginner - Honestly nothing more than a "for dummies" book, but with nothing to get you started. Sorry, I can't recommend it at all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Meet the Kinect" review from non programmer point of view. 6 Feb 2012
By @pavelasanov - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am very far from understanding the code, but can say that "Meetthe Kinect" book can be useful for every body who can read. It is one of not many tech books that reading will not send you into sleep mode.
The authors did extremely great job in research of history and present of Microsoft Kinect and similar 3d space scanning technology.
What ever your profession are teacher, doctor, animator or scientist this book is great way to understand new technology. Best of it even if you don't understand code and skip few pages with code examples, you will not only understand what Kinect is about, but by the end of the book you'll imagine how to use Kinect in your profession.

And if you plan to start code for Kinect research where to start is already done for you.

Kinect Sensor with Kinect Adventures!Xbox 360 4GB Console
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn all about this amazing new technology 8 Feb 2012
By Keith A. Hopkin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You might have heard about the Kinect. You might be already using it for a project. You might not even know what a Kinect is. In any of these cases this is a book you should get now. Without burying you in tons of geek-speak this book gives you a great overview of the cutting edge of this soon to be ubiquitous technology. As you will find out from this book it's not JUST about the Kinect and this technology goes far beyond gaming. If you have any interest in the future of computing pick up a copy of this! We will all be interfacing with computers in a whole new way.
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