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

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1 Comment

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

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