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Setting Up a Kinect Sensor

Kinect for Windows 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8

Here are some simple steps to get your Kinect sensor up and running.

Step 1: Mount the Sensor on a Stable Surface

Place the sensor on a stable surface in a location where it will not fall or be struck during use. Here are some other tips.

  1. Do not place the Kinect on or in front of a speaker or on a surface that vibrates or makes noise.
  2. Keep the Kinect out of direct sunlight.
  3. Use the Kinect within its specified operating temperature range of 41 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 35 degrees Celsius). If the sensor is exposed to an environment outside of its prescribed temperature range, turn it off and allow the temperature to stabilize within the specified range before you use the sensor again.
  4. Do not tilt a Kinect on its base. Manually tilting the Kinect can damage the sensor. The Kinect tilt angle is controlled by software; see Kinect Explorer - WPF C# Sample for an example.

Step 2: Install the Kinect for Windows SDK

  1. If you haven't done so already, download and install the free SDK from the Kinect for Windows download page.
  2. If you haven't done so already, download and install the free Developer Toolkit from the Kinect for Windows download page.

Step 3: Plug in your Kinect sensor

  1. Connect the power supply for your Kinect to an external power source.
  2. Connect the Kinect to a USB port on your PC and wait for Windows to recognize it.
  3. All the drivers, including audio, will load seamlessly.

When you install the Kinect for Windows SDK, the installation package includes the Kinect drivers. When the Kinect drivers are installed on a Windows-based PC, a Kinect that is plugged into the PC's USB port appears as a multicomponent USB device.

There is a known issue regarding USB host controller compatibility.

After loading the drivers, you need to set up your development environment. If you are using Visual Studio, continue with Configuring the Development Environment to help you create your first C# or C++ application.

Troubleshooting Tips

The following tips will help you get started using your Kinect:

  1. If a non-Microsoft driver for the Kinect is installed on your computer, the Kinect for Windows drivers might not install or function correctly. To fix this, uninstall the non-Microsoft drivers before installing the Kinect for Windows SDK.
  2. Connect the power supply for the Kinect to an external power source; if the Kinect has only power from the USB connection, it will be minimally functional and light the LED, but it must be connected to an external power source to be fully functional.
  3. No tools are required for calibration of audio and video.
  4. Your Kinect should be the only device plugged into a USB hub on your computer. If you have more than one Kinect, connect them to different USB controllers. If 2 hubs are connected to the same controller, only 1 Kinect can work at a time.
  5. The Kinect is protected from overheating by a fan. It is controlled by the sensor's firmware, which turns off the camera at 90 degrees Celsius. There is no software interface for applications to control the fan.
  6. Reasonable lighting, neither extremely dark nor extremely bright, is important for capturing images with the RGB camera. Incandescent, fluorescent, and natural lighting provide no special obstacles, but do not point an intense or constant light source at the camera because this can blind the RGB sensor.
  7. The depth sensor functions adequately in typical and reduced lighting, although in near darkness there is increased noise in the signal.
  8. The depth sensor reads depth information from reflected light. Objects that are highly reflective (mirrors and shiny metal) or highly absorptive (fluffy and/or dark materials) may not be registered by the depth sensor as successfully as other objects.

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