Kinect vs "Microsoft Kinect for Windows Sensor"

    Jun 18 2013 | 9:42 pm
    Hello, wondering if anyone has a sense of ease of use/performance of the standard gaming Kinect and the "Microsoft Kinect for Windows Sensor." Also curious whether certain generations of the Kinect are more Max 6.1+ friendly I am planning to start Kinect/Max patching. Especially of interest is the ability to work in both Windows and OSx environments, so compatibility with the OSx build of jit.openni is essential. Many thanks!

    • Jun 19 2013 | 12:11 am
      Max is agnostic to the Kinect and similar sensors. The important part are the externals to support the sensors. I think there are only 3 native Max externals for depth sensors: dp.kinect, jit.openi, and jit.freenect.grab.
      Kinect for Windows is the officially supported hardware on the Windows Platform. The XBox Kinect is for development use only. There is no officially supported Kinect hardware model for OSx. In addition, the licensing/legality for the hardware and software bundles may have restrictions, I direct you to Microsoft documentation for all clarification on that.
      I have a lot of experience with the Kinect sensor(s), the Kinect SDK from Microsoft, and the OpenNI development stack.
      • All models of the Kinect sensors are good hardware; an excellent v1 from Microsoft with v2 hardware coming within 6-12 months. The Xbox Kinect is different from the Kinect for Windows hardware; some features (e.g. camera contrast, near mode) are not available.
      • The Microsoft Kinect SDK is excellent. Regular updates with extremely powerful additions each time continue to deliver significant mew features for developers.
      • OpenNI has been a disappointment. The v1.x API was poorly updated and has been abandoned; no bug fixes, no migration, nothing. There were no official drivers for the Kinect and the hacked Kinect drivers are stale and do not support the silent Kinect hardware model updates that are now appearing on the market. The OpenNI v2.x API has existed for (wow, maybe a year now). It continues to be in beta or alpha quality with no stable release in sight. There are no features beyond the most basic depth, image, ir, and skeleton support. While it is cross-platform, I question long-term investment in OpenNI when you have better options available.
      Personally, I recommend purchasing Kinect for Windows sensors and running them on a Windows playform using dp.kinect. You get the complete featureset of Kinect for Windows + the Kinect for Windows SDK featureset with solid testing, regular updates, official support, etc.
    • Jun 19 2013 | 12:15 am
      Yes indeed! Thank you very much for providing this helpful info (and all your other Kinect work). I will make the case for using a "windows only" approach to this project. It'll definitely make my life a lot easier.