A wrapper for the simple Kinect for Windows library developed at Microsoft in partnership with myself & James George



A wrapper for the simple Kinect for Windows library developed at Microsoft in partnership with myself & James George

Starting the library is easy:


This creates a 640x480 color image stream and 320x240 depth image stream. A more complex example looks like so:

kinect.initSensor(1); // open the 2nd sensor
//kinect.initIRStream(640, 480); // size, you can do IR or Color
kinect.initColorStream(640, 480); // size
kinect.initDepthStream(320, 240, true); // size and close range?
kinect.initSkeletonStream(true); // seated?

To update the Kinect, you guessed it:


This handles updating all the streams you have initialized.

To draw, choose one or all of:

kinect.draw(0,0); // draw the color image
kinect.drawDepth(kinect.getColorPixelsRef().getWidth(), 0); // draw the depth image

To access the pixels of any image:

ofPixels colorPix = getColorPixelsRef();
ofPixels depthPix = getDepthPixelsRef();///< grayscale values
ofShortPixels rawDepthPix = getRawDepthPixelsRef(); ///< raw 11 bit values

To get the screen locations of the skeletons and joints of those skeletons

if(kinect.isNewSkeleton()) {
        for( int i = 0; i < kinect.getSkeletons().size(); i++) 
                // has a head? probably working ok then :)
            if(kinect.getSkeletons().at(i).find(NUI_SKELETON_POSITION_HEAD) != kinect.getSkeletons().at(i).end())
                // just get the first one
                SkeletonBone headBone = kinect.getSkeletons().at(i).find(NUI_SKELETON_POSITION_HEAD)->second;
                ofVec2f headScrenPosition( headBone.getScreenPosition().x, headBone.getScreenPosition().y);

Gestures, Face-Tracking, and the Voice API are all on their way.

As of yet 32bit only and, as this is leveraging the Kinect for Windows library, Windows only.

Download the Kinect For Windows SDK at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/kinectforwindows/ and have fun

projectGenerator Help

If you are using the project generator to create your ofxKinectCommonBridge projects, you may notice that your projects don't compile and throw errors about "Cannot open include file "NuiApi.h", etc. This is because there are a few additional settings that you must add to the Visual Studio project after generating that the projectGenerator currently can't add for you.

So, once you have generated a project that includes ofxKinectCommonBridge:

  • Right click on the name of your solution in the Solution Explorer in Visual studio and select "Properties" at the bottom.
  • Ensure that "All Configurations" is selected in the Configuration drop down on the top left

  • Under VC++ Directories > All Options

    • Add the following to Include Directories

    • Add the following to Library Directories

  • Under Linker > All Options

    • add the following to Additional Library Directories

    • add the following under Additional Dependencies

  • Under Build Events > Post Build Event

    • add the following to Command Line

      xcopy /e /i /y "$(ProjectDir)..\..\..\export\vs\*.dll" "$(ProjectDir)bin"
      xcopy /e /i /y "..\..\..\addons\ofxKinectCommonBridge\libs\KinectCommonBridge\lib\windows\*.dll" "$(ProjectDir)bin"

May require some modification for your specific machine...

Using Property Sheets to do all these settings automatically

If you have used the Project Generator to create your project, you can use this route to add all the necessary settings for your project (e.g. include paths, libraries, build steps for copying necessary dll's).

  • Open the Property Manager for your Solution (View > Other Windows > Property Manager)
    • Right click on your project (e.g. emptyExample) and select Add Existing Property Sheet...
    • Select the file addons\ofxKinectCommonBridge\ofxKinectCommonBridge.props

Face Tracking and Speech

Hi there!

Right now the Face Tracking and Speech detection require that you have the Professional versions of Visual Studio. If you'd like to enable them, go to ofxKinectCommonBridge.h and uncomment one or both of these:

//#define KCB_ENABLE_FT

OR (and even better)

Add to your Command Line arguments in Project Properties, it's in C++ properties.

You'll also need to change your linker settings just a little so that you're linking against:


instead of


A pain, I know, but I had to compile the KinectCommonBridge library differently to get everything we needed included without breaking it for other folks.

You will also need to include the following dll's with your application:

FaceTrackData.dll FaceTrackLib.dll

These DLLs are part of the Kinect for Windows Developer Toolkit and are located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Kinect\Developer Toolkit v1.8.0\Redist. You will need to copy the correct versions of the DLLs depending on if you are doing a Win32 or x64 build. The Win32 DLLs are in the Redist\x86 folder and the x64 DLLs are in the Redist\amd64 folder. You can use the following post build event commands to copy the DLLs to your project's output directory:

Win32 Post Build Event

xcopy "$(FTSDK_DIR)Redist\x86\FaceTrackLib.dll" "$(OutDir)" /eiycq xcopy "$(FTSDK_DIR)Redist\x86\FaceTrackData.dll" "$(OutDir)" /eiycq

FaceTracking is pretty straight forward:


then in the update() method, call getFaceData()

if(kinect.isFaceNew()) {
    face = kinect.getFaceData();

The face is a bit rough still so caveat emptor, but it works ok and tracks 2 face simultaneously.

Speech is a little more complex. You need a few things:

#define KCB_ENABLE_SPEECH // uncomment this

Then in your setup:

void testApp::setup()

    string grammarPath = ofToDataPath("grammar\\SpeechBasics-D2D.grxml", true); // you need a grammar file, more on that later

    ofAddListener(ofxKCBSpeechEvent::event, this, &testApp::speechEvent);

Then a listener:

void testApp::speechEvent( ofxKCBSpeechEvent & speechEvt )
    cout << " got speech event " << endl;
    cout << " detected " << speechEvt.detectedSpeech << endl;
    cout << " confidence " << speechEvt.confidence << endl;

So, you're probably wondering: what's the detected speech? It's going to be a tag. What's a tag? It's a tag defined in your Grammar file. What's a grammar file? A grammar file defines what yoa is listening for. Here's something pretty simple:

<grammar version="1.0" xml:lang="en-US" root="rootRule" tag-format="semantics/1.0-literals" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2001/06/grammar">
  <rule id="rootRule">
    <!-- can be flexible -->
          <item> forwards </item>
          <item> forward </item>
          <item> straight </item>
    <!-- can be flexible -->
          <item> backward </item>
          <item> backwards </item>
          <item> back </item>
          <item> turn left </item>
          <item> turn right </item>

You can build much more complex ones, of course.