How to Connect a Kinect

Introduction: How to Connect a Kinect

About: Management consultant in ICT for Sustainable Development Goals; specialist in gaming/simulation, digital making, e-learning.

Microsoft's Kinect is a versatile multimedia input device that can be used as a 3D scanner. Originally it was launched as an extension to the Xbox game console. We describe how to connect a Kinect to your Windows PC.

Nintendo's Wii game console introduced motion control to games via wireless remote controls. Later Microsoft added motion control to its XBox360 game console as well. They even did not need remote controls. Instead they used a dedicated camera system, called Kinect, that could do the job without remotes ... and much more.

The Kinect happened to be a versatile device that, connected to your Windows computer, offers an array of new functions. The most striking one is 3D scanning in a user friendly way. That is very interesting for a device with a second hand street price of USD 25!

The plethora of new functions requires a lot of exploring and experimenting which can start as soon as your Kinect has been connected to your Windows computer. And that, surprisingly, is sometimes a frustrating exercise. We will try to help you out.

Step 1: Identify Your Kinect

AFAIK there are four types of Kinect now:

  1. Kinect for XBox 360, the original device launched as an extension to the XBox 360 game console.
  2. Kinect for Windows, i.e. Windows 7, the same as the previous one, only the firmware is more advanced, i.e. allows closer distances to the object.
  3. Kinect for XBox One, the successor of the earlier Kinect for XBox 360.
  4. Kinect for Windows v2, i.e Windows 8, the same as the previous one, but now for connection to your PC.

So be sure, you know which Kinect edition you are using.

If you do not have one yet, we recommend the Kinect for Xbox 360 for the moment. It is cheap, the software runs on Windows 7 and you will find many free resources on the internet.

Step 2: Check Your Hardware

Your Kinect needs the right cable and enough power to operate.

This implies:

  1. Kinect for XBox 360: You need to buy a dedicated power supply unit / USB cable combination (about USD 10).
  2. Kinect for Windows: You will have a power supply unit / USB cable combination as part of your Kinect package.
  3. Kinect for XBox One: You need to buy a dedicated power supply unit/ USB 3 cable combination (about USD 10).
  4. Kinect for Windows v2: You will have a power supply unit / USB cable combination as part of your Kinect package.

Step 3: Remove Kinect Software

When you tried already to install Kinect drivers and/or applications without success, it is wise to un-install them before you proceed.

So, go to the configuration panel in Windows and select "Add / remove programs". Uninstall anything that starts with the word "Kinect". Have a fresh restart of your system afterwards.

Step 4: Install Kinect Software

Installing the Kinect driver became a mess in our case. However, by trial and error, we found a way out.

Issues are:

  • You need both a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the drivers and a Developers Tool Kit for the examples and tools. Always install the SDK first and the Developers Tool Kit next.
  • You can download the software from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/ where you find two versions (v1.7 and v1.8) for both products.
  • Apparently in case you have a Kinect for Xbox 360 or a Kinect for Windows you should use v1.7 which runs on Windows7 (maybe Windows8 as well).
  • Apparently, in case you have a Kinect for Xbox One or a Kinect for Windows v2 you have to use v1.8 which runs on Windows8 (maybe Windows7 as well).

Afterwards you will find the Kinect Studio program and a Developer Toolkit Browser plus some documents in your Windows task menu.

Step 5: Connect Your Kinect

Now, first Power On your Kinect and then connect it to your computer via a USB-port.

Wait for at least five minutes. In the meantime you could look at Device management on your Windows machine to see what is happening. After a while, you will receive a Device Ready message.

In the Device manager you will see that four new devices have been installed:

  1. Kinect for Windows Audio Array Control,
  2. Kinect for Windows Camera,
  3. Kinect for Windows Device,
  4. Kinect for Windows Security Control.

Step 6: Browse Your Kinect Toolkit

Now start the Developer Toolkit Browser for exploring a bunch of ready-to-run demo's and corresponding documentation.

Step 7: Explore Kinect Studio

One of the applications is Kinect Studio that supports other programs in working with the Kinect.

Step 8: SUMMARY

To conclude, a table with a summary of the options.

6 People Made This Project!

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53 Discussions

1
jcom4179
jcom4179

Question 23 days ago

I have the Xbox 360 Kinect camera, a windows 10 Nuvision tablet and a 12v rechargeable power system. These items are set up on pistol grip tablet holder I customized for an SLS Microsoft Kinect stickman camera for Ghost hunting. I have downloaded the Kinect 1.8 SDK and the Kinect tool kit . Once the Kinect software is downloaded I am unable be to open it or have the software recognize the Kinect camera. I've watched every video on YouTube , factory reset my windows in 10 tablet PC as well as purchased a new Xbox 360 Kinect camera with still no results. I desperately need help.
Thank you.Jeff C.

0
FilipeS20
FilipeS20

4 years ago

Hi there, I'm looking for the cable to conect the Kinect for XBox One to computer, but i cant find. Could someone give me a clue (or a link to a ebay seller) to where I can get it?

0
Pieter van der Hijden
Pieter van der Hijden

Reply 4 years ago

There are two types, one for the Xbox 360 Kinect, one for the Xbox One Kinect. You find both on http://amazon.com; look for kinect windows.

0
ifawcett2017
ifawcett2017

Question 4 weeks ago

I have my Xbox One Kinect connected to PC and the camera runs when I use the 3D viewer app, but for anything else it is not picking up that the Kinect is connected and it is not even turning on unless I run that app. What could be the issue here?

0
IRMacGuyver
IRMacGuyver

Question 2 months ago on Step 1

What's the difference between SDK 1.7 and 1.8? I looked this up years ago when first starting but now can't remember and I'm starting fresh with a new computer. I think it had to do with which version of windows you had as to which worked better. Either that or it was based on the kinect unit. I'm using Windows 10 pro and have the 360 Kinect with the adapter connection.

0
Katyhebbache
Katyhebbache

6 months ago

I can use Kinect to do motion and voice recognition through image processing.?

1
Darrell 1978
Darrell 1978

Question 9 months ago on Introduction

Looking for help after installing Kinect SDK v1.8 & KinectDeveloperToolkit-v1.8.0 to install XBox 360 kinect to windows 10. After using command prompt with admin rights to use regsvr32 Kinectcam.ax, then rebooting PC. I appear to be missing config.ini that's to be found in C:\Users\Darrell\AppData\Local\Kinect folder, which wasn't created. Unable to adjust camera angle. Device manager shows all Kinect devices. The kinect cam is not enabled with Skype. Either there is a problem with the adapter or there is something I've missed.

0
christiankrupa
christiankrupa

Question 1 year ago on Step 2

Would a cable for the 360 version work with a kinect for Xbox one?

0
reddragonzz
reddragonzz

Answer 1 year ago

No, they are different

1
TechnoStuck
TechnoStuck

1 year ago

Hi Pieter
I have a Win 10 64 bit O/S, 16 Gb Memory, Gigabyte Aorus Geforce GTX 1080 ti Xtreme edition 11gb and a Kinect Xbox 360 sensor model # 1414. I have followed your instructions for SDK v 1.7 and v 1.8 using the correct drivers. I connect the Kinect as directed. And that is where the problems start.
1. The Green light is flashing
2. When I start Kinect Studio v 1.8, I am told that I need to be connected to a Kinect-enabled app. I start Skanect 1.10 (win 10). Firstly I get a message from Kinect saying failed to initialise the sensor. Skanect says it is detecting sensor, but when I close the message from Kinect, Skanect that the sensor is unavailable.
3. In Device Manager, there is a yellow warning triangle against Kinect for Windows Camera. (R) click and then clicking Properties gives me the following message "Windows cannot load the device driver for this hardware. The driver may be corrupted or missing. (Code 39)
{Bad Image}
%hs is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or the software vendor for support. Error status 0x"
Is there anything I am missing?
Peter

0
Elsaispo
Elsaispo

1 year ago

Thanks to your great instruction I got this to work under win10, I can try different app with the developer tools and see and hear myself but there is one thing I can't do and is to allow other application on windows to detect my kinect as a webcam, its just not working at all.

1
UmerM14
UmerM14

Question 1 year ago

how to install these drivers in pc ??

Capture 11.JPG
0
UmerM14
UmerM14

1 year ago on Step 1

I have a issue in kinect xbox 360 which sdk i've install for xbox 360 ?? kindly help me ,,,,Thank you so much

0
DavidI120
DavidI120

Question 1 year ago on Introduction

What would be a good tablet to use with the kinect for windows?

2
JoseG414
JoseG414

Question 1 year ago on Step 5

hi i got a proble, it just appears 3 devices audio array control, camera and security control, how can i add device?

a.png
1
ArianaM9
ArianaM9

Question 2 years ago

Hi from indonesian, i got a problem why there is no kinect for windows device ini my device manager? thankyou

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0
DaniD30
DaniD30

Answer 2 years ago

I have the same problem! On windows 10 with kinwct for windows v1...

Were you able to solve it?

0
el97
el97

4 years ago

hi! Great tutorial. I got a problem with my kinect though... It cant be connected to the sub port correctly for some reason. I can hear the connection sound but after 1 sec i can hear the disconnect sound again. Its like the cable is broken or something. It works perfectly on my xbox so the camera is not broken.

0
RickyR52
RickyR52

Reply 3 years ago

Were you able to fix your problem with a different power source? I also have the problem of my computer making a disconnecting sound after the Kinect is plugged in. I am using an XBox 360 Kinect on Windows 7 and have been careful about uninstalling and reinstalling V1.7 software. Has anyone had luck with a specific power source?