Kinect for Windows Architecture

Kinect for Windows 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8

The SDK provides a sophisticated software library and tools to help developers use the rich form of Kinect-based natural input, which senses and reacts to real-world events. The Kinect and the software library interact with your application, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.  Hardware and Software Interaction with an Application


The components of the SDK include:

Figure 2.  SDK Architecture


These components include the following:

  1. Kinect hardware - The hardware components, including the Kinect sensor and the USB hub through which the Kinect sensor is connected to the computer.
  2. Kinect drivers - The Windows drivers for the Kinect, which are installed as part of the SDK setup process as described in this document. The Kinect drivers support:
    • The Kinect microphone array as a kernel-mode audio device that you can access through the standard audio APIs in Windows.
    • Audio and video streaming controls for streaming audio and video (color, depth, and skeleton).
    • Device enumeration functions that enable an application to use more than one Kinect.
  3. Audio and Video Components
    • Kinect natural user interface for skeleton tracking, audio, and color and depth imaging
  4. DirectX Media Object (DMO) for microphone array beamforming and audio source localization.
  5. Windows 7 standard APIs - The audio, speech, and media APIs in Windows 7, as described in the Windows 7 SDK and the Microsoft Speech SDK. These APIs are also available to desktop applications in Windows 8.

Community Additions