Book Reviewed - Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide By Abhijit Jana

By Anoop Madhusudanan

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Recently, Abhijith Jana published his Kinect For Windows SDK Programming Guide – And I’m one of the three technical reviewers. The Book is very pictorial in the explanations, with crisp code samples and cited annotations. I was particularly impressed with the way Abhijit tied the features of Kinect with Real use cases. The book covers all the hardware and software aspects, with lot of illustrations and examples. I liked the easy to understand, simple narration followed by Abhijit.

The Tone of the book

He starts with unpacking the Kinect, introducing you to the hardware and software components. And in the next couple of chapters, he is slowly familiarizing you to the camera, making sense of the color and depth image streams, Skeleton tracking, Speech API, Gesture detection etc. The book also covers various third party Kinect related APIs (including Coding4Fun Kinect Toolkit, few Gesture Libraries etc).

The last couple of chapters is all about what you can build using Kinect, with some cool examples that demonstrates how to interface Kinect with multiple platforms including Azure, Windows Phone and few Micro Controllers. There are a number of cool graphics/illustrations to enable readers to visualize various aspects like depth detection, gesture detection etc.

About the Content

More importantly, I believe this turned out to be a practical guide for any one to write real world applications using Kinect. One of my observations during the review stage was to include a lot of practical examples.  I am glad to see these countless examples in the book and should commend Abhijit for his hard work. There are lot of practical scenarios covered, including

  • Using Kinect Windows SDK to build gesture capabilities in your Windows applications
  • Adding night vision using IR sensors
  • Audio processing
  • Building an intrusion detector using Kinect
  • Using Kinect Speech recognizer capabilities to integrate Speech detection
  • Making Kinect and Netdunio work together to have some serious fun etc.

I recently showed this book to some enthusiasts during my “Natural User Interface using C#” sessions in Rutgers as well as in Cupertino, and the response was quite amazing. As it assumes no prior knowledge in NUIs, this was a good starting point for a number of hackers. Also, one startup I met in CA mentioned that they are building a 3D Scanner in Kinect to use with the 3D printers, by extracting the point cloud and to convert the same to a 3D format that can be passed to the printers.

I may be a bit biased about the book as I was working with Abhi very closely for the review, but I suggest you to have a look at Amazon listing and see the reviews there. Suggest you should buy the same, if you ever tried hacking cool stuff. Or, what about building interactive Advertisement boards using Windows 8? Or a private intrusion detector for your home? Just Go ahead and buy one. – I’m so confident that you’ll love it..

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