The Dew Review – Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide

Packt Publishing recently released a new title about programming for the Kinect for Windows SDK written by Abhijit Jana. I agreed to read the book and write up a review because I have been for a good reason to explore the SDK myself.

Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide is a great place to start learning about developing software for the Kinect for Windows device. Familiarity with .NET development is the only pre-requisite to the content in this book. Although you will get much more value from the book if you also have a Kinect device to tests your applications.

Before getting in to using the SDK, the author gives some details of the Kinect hardware, including the differences between the original Kinect for Xbox device and the newer Kinect for Windows. Although both can be used with Windows, the device designed for Windows has some different capabilities. Getting the SDK set up and connecting to the device are also covered in the introduction.

The next couple chapters provide an introduction to the SDK and some basics of programming against different capabilities of the Kinect, including depth, color, infrared and audio streams. Developers with some Kinect SDK experience can skip this section and dive directly into the subsequent chapters which provide more depth on these topics. In addition to capturing these data streams, the author provides some excellent advice on skeletal tracking and speech recognition.

Chapter nine goes through the intricacies of recognizing and handling gestures  in your applications, chapter 10 covers how to handle input from multiple Kinect devices connected to a PC, and chapter 11 adds other components into the mix (like Azure, Netduino and Windows Phone).

As a newbie to the world of Kinect development, I found the material in the book to be very helpful. I think it would be a great addition to and Kinect developer’s bookshelf, whether you are a casual or commercial developer of Kinect software.