For Chanukah, I had bought an X-box with Kinect for the family, and I knew that people have been hacking the Kinect sensor to use in other applications and computers. The Kinect sensors sold out very quickly here, and they were gone online almost as quickly. Bottom line, I couldn’t get the sensor by itself. And unfortunately, the Kinect that comes with the X-box uses a slightly different connector (not USB), so the only real option is to get the standalone sensor, which is USB.
Over the weekend, I was in Wal-Mart (no snickering), looking for a second wireless controller for our new X-box so that Charlie and I could play FIFA11 together. As I’m browsing the electronics section, I notice that they have a couple of Kinect sensors under lock and key. I ask the clerk if they were for sale, and sure enough, they had just arrived.
So now, I’m having way too much fun playing with the Kinect sensor. I have modules built-in both Processing and Max, and will probably spend the rest of the year developing more software for it. Learning how to program this will force me to dig deeper into the video processing tools of both environments (which I’ve wanted to do for a while), as well as give me a specific direction for my work.
So far, I have learned that with a bit of planning, I should be able to make Kinect read my gestures, enabling me to use it as a performance controller. The hard part (and this is always the hard part) will be creating a performance controller that does interesting things. But doing the hard part is also what I love to do most.