PrimeSense (Kinect tech) opens up for the Kinect hacking community

Wow, this appears to be big news. Primesense (licensed some of the tech in the Kinect) saw all the amazing demos in the Kinect hacking world and instead of trying to stop they want more!

Hello OpenKinect!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by PrimeSense co-founder Tamir Berliner, who wanted to discuss their plans and ways PrimeSense could engage with the community. (Microsoft licensed PrimeSense’s technology and based Kinect on the PrimeSense reference design.

After seeing the dozens of Kinect videos and amazing enthusiasm from our community, PrimeSense decided to move up their plans and today announced the OpenNI initiative and have open sourced their middleware for natural interaction and drivers for their depth cameras. PrimeSense is setting up OpenNI is being set up as a standards consortium for natural interaction, including motion tracking, voice, and others. As a part of today’s announcement, they have released three things:

Open source drivers for the PrimeSensor reference device. This is based upon the same SOC as Kinect. There are probably some knowledge in that code!

The open source OpenNI framework This is framework supports pluggable nodes that can let us create applications that work against any depth sensor that supports OpenNI and take advantage of any node (for example, skeleton tracking) that is 

NITE (See for download link and license key) This is a binary-only release for Linux and Windows that includes a PrimeSense implementation of skeleton tracking and gesture recognition, plus sample source code. NITE is an OpenNI module.

I’ll be posting more information later about how some of this works. I already have started an OpenNI module interface for libfreenect that will allow us to plug Kinect in with OpenNI and take advantage of the capabilities of OpenNI and NITE, as shown in these videos:

Skeleton Extraction:

Scene Analyzer (user separation):

Joshua Blake 
OpenKinect Community Founder

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 35,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — How (some) chips get made

Wearables — Need a lot of power for your project? Read on!

Electronics — Storage Safety 101

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: 10K Subscribers, Picos Made in Africa and more!! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Turtle Eggs, Pool Monitors, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week 11/29/22 ENS160 MOX Gas Sensor @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

1 Comment

  1. An important correction: Primesense owns the hardware technology behind the Kinect and licenses it to Microsoft, not vice-versa.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.