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

Sean Kean , Jonathan Hall , Phoenix Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 22, 2011 1430238887 978-1430238881 1

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?

Frequently Bought Together

Meet the Kinect: An Introduction to Programming Natural User Interfaces (Technology in Action) + Making Things See: 3D vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino, and MakerBot (Make: Books) + Arduino and Kinect Projects: Design, Build, Blow Their Minds (Technology in Action)
Price for all three: $80.23

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About 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. (, to bring volumetric 3D TVs mainstream with the VoxieBox (, and to help professionals working with volumetric depth cameras, software, and displays to connect to each other through the Volumetric Society ( 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.

Product Details

  • Series: Technology in Action
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430238887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430238881
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learn all about this amazing new technology February 8, 2012
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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