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Note: As of OpenFrameworks 0.8.0, ofxKinect has been integrated into the OF core. All future development of this addon will take place in the main OF Github repo so please log issues there.

This repo will be left for anyone supporting old (pre-0.8.0+) OF projects and will not be updated. The final master branch is compatible with OF 0.8.0.

Copyright (c) 2010-2013 ofxKinect Team

MIT License.

For information on usage and redistribution, and for a DISCLAIMER OF ALL WARRANTIES, see the file, "LICENSE.txt," in this distribution.

See for documentation as well as the OF forums.

This project uses libfreenect, copyrighted by the Open Kinect Project using the Apache License v2. See the file "APACHE20" in libs/libfreenect.


ofxKinect is an Open Frameworks addon for the Xbox Kinect that runs on Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows. OpenFrameworks is a cross platform open source toolkit for creative coding in C++.

NOTE: Xbox Kinect models > 1414 (1473, etc) or Kinect4Windows devices that have been plugged into an XBox will not work with ofxKinect on Mac OSX

If you have an Xbox Kinect model 1473+ or Kinect4Windows device and want to use it with ofxKinect on OSX, DO NOT plug it into an XBox! If you do, it will receive a firmware update which will cause it to freeze after about 20 secs with libfreenect/ofxKinect on OSX. Linux and Windows are fine. The fix is in the works.

In the meantime, we suggest you get the original Xbox Kinect model 1414 and keep those new toys away from an XBox ...


To use ofxKinect, first you need to download and install Open Frameworks.

To get a copy of the repository you can download the source from or, alternatively, you can use git clone:

git clone git://

The addon should sit in openFrameworks/addons/ofxKinect/.

Which version to use?

If you are using a stable version (0062, 007, ...) of OpenFrameworks then you want to use a git tag of ofxKinect for that version. You can select the tag in the Github menu or clone and check it out using git.

For example, the following commands will clone ofxKinect and switch to the OF 0062 tagged version:

git clone git://
cd ofxKinect
git checkout 0062

Using the latest ofxKinect

The master branch of ofxKinect will work with the current master of OpenFrameworks and can be considered unstable. The develop branch is used for testing new features and bugfixes before they are applied to master.

If you want to work with the latest unstable (still in development) ofxKinect, download the source from the develop branch or via git clone:

git clone git:// -b develop

Warning: The develop branch will be in flux, so don't be surprised if things do not always work as expected!

Bug: ofxKinect 0.7.4 + Windows CodeBlocks 12.11 missing pthread

If you're using Windows CodeBlocks 12.11 and OF/ofxKinect 0.7.4, you may see an issue where ofxKinect projects cannot compile/link due to missing the "pthread" library. This is due to CodeBlocks removing some built in libraries between versions 10.5 & 12.11.

The fix is to manually add the pthread-win32 library which provides "pthread".

First, make sure you've followed to "Add files to MinGW guide" in the CodeBlocks 12.11 setup for OF guide. Then, manually add pthreads-win32:

  1. download the compiled version:
  2. rename the lib file Pre-built.2\lib\x86\libpthreadGC2.a to libpthread and copy it into the MinGW folder for your CodeBlocks installation: C:\Program Files (x86)\CodeBlocks\MinGW\lib
  3. if they do not exist, copy the header (.h) files in Pre-build.2\include into your CodeBlocks installation: C:\Program Files (x86)\CodeBlocks\MinGW\include

Running the Example Project

An example project is provided in the kinectExample folder. As of OF 0.8.0, ofxKinect no longer ships with the platform project files. Simply use the OpenFrameworks ProjectGenerator in apps/projectGenerator to generate the Xcode, VS2012, CodeBlocks projects and/or Makefiles by pointing it to the kinectExample folder and making sure to include the following addons:

  • ofxKinect (duh)
  • ofxOpenCv (for blob tracking in the example, not required by ofxKinect itself.)


Xcode4: Open the Xcode project, select the "kinectExample Debug" scheme, and hit "Run".


Install the libusb-1.0 library. On Ubuntu, you can do this with:

sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev

Open the Code::Blocks .cbp and hit F9 to build. Optionally, you can build the example with the Makefile.

To run it, use the terminal:

cd bin

Also, you can add a set of udev rules which allow you to run a kinect app without root privileges:

sudo libs\libfreenect\platform\linux\udev\51-kinect.rules /etc/udev/rules.d


Precompiled libfreenect drivers and libusb-win32 libs are included for Windows.

Make sure to install or update the libfreenect Kinect camera, motor, and audio drivers through Windows Device Manager by pointing it to the driver folder:


You may need to manually update each driver individually if you've plugged it in before. ofxKinect will not work if the drivers are not installed.

NOTE: You cannot use the OpenNI drivers and the libfreenect drivers included with ofxKinect at the same time. You must manually uninstall one and reinstall the other in the Device Manager. Sorry, that's just how it is. :P

How to Create a New ofxKinect Project

To develop your own project based on ofxKinect, simply copy the example project and rename it. You probably want to put it in your apps folder, for example, after copying:

openFrameworks/addons/ofxKinect/kinectExample/ => openFrameworks/apps/myApps/kinectExample/

Then after renaming:


Mac (Xcode):

Rename the project in Xcode (do not rename the .xcodeproj file in Finder!): Slow double click the project name and rename (Xcode4)

Codeblocks (Win & Linux):

Close Codeblocks and rename the *.cbp and *.workspace files to the same name as the project folder. Open the workspace and readd the renamed project file.

Windows (Visual Studio):

Close Visual Studio and rename the *.sln file. Open the solution, right click on the project in the project browser and select "Rename ...".

Adding ofxKinect to an Existing Project

If you want to add ofxKinect to another project, you need to make sure you include the src folder and the :


as well as search paths for the addons (ofxOpenCv) and libs (freenect, libusb) required by ofxKinect.

Don't forget to include the ofxOpenCv addon sources and opencv libraries.

Mac (Xcode):

In the Xcode project browser:

  • add the ofxKinect sources to the project:
    • create a new group "ofxKinect"
    • drag these directories from ofxKinect into this new group: ofxKinect/src & ofxKinect/libs
  • add a search path to the libusb headers: ../../../addons/ofxKinect/libs/libusb/include/libusb-1.0 to your project Target build settings
    • Xcode4: add the lib path to your Project.xconfig, see the example
  • add the path to the libusb precompiled library: ../../../addons/ofxKinect/libs/libusb-1.0/lib/osx/usb-1.0.a
    • Xcode4: add the lib path to your Project.xconfig, see the example

Linux (Makefiles & Codeblocks):

Edit the Makefile config files:

  • edit addons.make in your project folder and add the following line to the end of the file:
  • edit config.make in your project folder and change the lines for USER_LIBS to:
      USER_LIBS = -lusb-1.0

Windows (Visual Studio):

  • add the ofxPd sources to the project:
    • right click on the addons folder in your project tree and create a new filter named "ofxKinect"
    • drag the src directory from the ofxKinect addon folder in Explorer into the ofxKinect folder in your project tree
  • add header and library search paths:
    • right lick on your project and select "Properties"
    • choose "Debug" from the "Configurations" drop down box
    • under C/C++->General, add the following to the "Additional Include Directories":
    • under Linker->General, add the following to the "Additional Library Directories":
    • repeat for the "Release" configuration

Windows (Codeblocks):

  • add the ofxPd sources to the project:
    • right-click on your project in the project tree
    • select "Add Files Recursively ..."
    • navigate and choose the ofxKinect/src folder
  • add search paths and libraries to link:
    • right-click on your project in the project tree
    • select "Build options..."
    • make sure the project name is selected in the tree (not release or debug)
    • select the "Search directories" tab, click add the search paths:
    • select the "Linker settings" tab, add the following to Link libraries:
    • select the "Linker settings" tab, add the following to Other liker options:


Using multiple kinects

ofxKinect supports multiple kinects, however stability is based on the bandwidth of your usb hardware. If you only require the depth image, it is recommended to disable the video grabbing of the rgb/ir images from your devices:

kinect.init(false, false);  // disable video image (faster fps)

For Kinect4Windows, Microsoft states that only 2 Kinects can be supported on the same USB bus. In practice on OSX, this proves to be the case as, even with the RGB images disabled, there are transfer errors using ofxKinect and 3 Kinects simultaneously. If you need to support many Kinects, you will probably need to add extra USB controllers to your machine …

Developing ofxKinect

Feel free to log bug reports and issues to the ofxKinect Github page:

If you wish to help in ofxKinect development, please refer to the wiki:


legacy openFrameworks wrapper for the xbox kinect (OF pre-0.8.0+ only) - ofxKinect is now included and is being maintained in OF releases







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