Home > Sample chapters

An Introduction to the Kinect Sensor

Programming the Kinect

The software described in the previous sections, and which you’ll see more of in this book, is called the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). Installing the SDK lets you write programs that use the power of the Kinect at different levels. You can obtain direct access to the low-level video and depth signals and create applications that use that low-level data, or you can make use of the powerful library features built into the SDK that make it easy for a program to identify and track users.

You can download the Kinect for Windows SDK for free. The SDK provides a set of libraries that you can add to your own programs and games so they can use the sensor. The SDK also contains all the drivers that you need to link a Kinect to your computer.

You can use the Kinect SDK from a managed code programming language (such as C# or Visual Basic.NET) or from unmanaged C++. The SDK provides a set of objects that expose properties and methods you can use in your programs. The following chapters explore how you can write programs that use these objects to create some novel and fun programs that support completely new ways of interacting with a computer.

The next chapter describes how to install the SDK on your computer and get it connected and talking to the Kinect.