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Getting Started with the Kinect for Windows SDK

Connecting the Kinect Sensor Bar

After you have installed the Kinect SDK, you can connect the sensor bar to your computer. The Kinect sensor bar works with any Windows computer that has a USB connection.

Powering the Kinect Sensor

The Kinect sensor bar uses more power than is available from a standard USB connection. It needs about 1.5 amps of current, whereas a standard USB port on a computer is only able to supply 0.5 amp. A Kinect sensor bar can get the extra power in either of two ways. The newer, small Xbox 360 consoles have a specially modified USB connection on the back that can provide extra current. Owners of the older, larger Xbox 360s must use the Kinect power supply that is connected between the sensor bar and the console. The Kinect power supply allows use of the Kinect sensor bar with any device that has a standard USB connection.

The plug on the end of the wire coming from the Kinect sensor bar looks a bit like a USB plug, but in fact it is special and has one corner cut off so that it will not fit directly into a USB port in a desktop computer or laptop. If you force the Kinect plug into a standard USB socket, you will break the socket and do expensive damage to your system. Instead, use the Kinect power supply that is connected between the Kinect plug and the USB connection on your computer. The cable from the power supply includes a USB plug that can be fitted safely into a computer.

Once you have positioned your sensor bar and connected it to a power source, you are ready to connect it to your computer.

Installing the Kinect Sensor USB Drivers

The very first time that you plug the Kinect sensor bar into your Windows computer, it will automatically install all the USB drivers that are required. To ensure that you get the latest version of the drivers, your Windows computer will contact Windows Update during the install. It is therefore a good idea to connect the sensor bar for the first time when your computer has a working Internet connection.

Figure 2-1 shows the results of a successful Kinect installation. If the drivers do not install successfully, this may be because you have older drivers on your machine that need to be removed. Take a look in the Troubleshooting Your Kinect Installation section at the end of this chapter for details of how to search for and remove these drivers.

Figure 2-1

Figure 2-1 A successful driver installation.