Archives for posts with tag: Kinect

7 Tutorials To Start Working With Kinect and Arduino

Using an Arduino with a Kinect device might be a simpler option than building an app for my laptop. It would also be a good project for me to become more familiar with Arduino and Processing(the language).

Thanks to


fig 1. This is the image that Synapse captures from the Kinect (Model1414). Notice how it has automatically captured the wire frame skeleton.

The next phase of my work is creating a “wireless” tug o’ war. My theoretical basis for this is the “Alien hand” experiment(see SØrensen 2005). I want to see if the impression of tugging creates the sense that another person is there. I will test this via a digitally mediated interface, rather than a length of rope.

In this case,  I will use a Kinect to simulate a physical connection between to players. At least, that is my goal. this post will focus on the process of physically connecting the Kinect device, made by Microsoft, to my Apple laptop, running OSX Mavericks. By no means am I a computer engineer, so I am synthesizing advice from friends and referencing various web sources.

After doing a little research, I realised I would need an adapter that both provides power to it the Kinect as well as plugging it into my computer. That was purchase for about CAN$15 and delivered in 3 days. To get the Kinect to talk to my computer, I downloaded Synapse and it was easy to install, and free.

The next stage was to find a means to processing the data from the Kinect. I found this tutorial( ). I just followed it and it worked quite well. What did I learn? How to get movement data transferred into my computer. How to start visually presenting that data.

There are still many hurdles: How to get data streams from two people to interact, how to represent that interaction, and how to provide appropriate feedback to the actors involved. But those a closer to n]being soluble problem than they were this morning.


SØrensen, J. B. (2005). The alien-hand experiment. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 4(1), 73-90.

DOI: 10.1007/s11097-005-5854-4


fig 2. This Quartz composer sketch links the various “objects” that allow the data from the Kinect to be processed. Quartz Composer is free for people with Mac OSX and an apple account, and is part of the XCode development kit, for making apps for OSX.


fig 3. The viewer in Quartz Composer: It shows my image, and a spray of particles that follow my left hand. Not bad for an afternoon’s work, and never having used Xcode or any modern programming languages.