MS Open Tech releases Kinect Common Bridge, a simple open source way for infusing the magic of Kinect in creative development


Want to control your 3D model animation with your body, Minority Report style? We’ve got you covered. Today, Microsoft Open Technologies released the open source project Kinect Common Bridge for Kinect for Windows.

Today at the Visual Studio Evolution 2013 event in Dusseldorf, Germany, Ben Lower from the Kinect for Windows team demonstrated the Kinect Common Bridge. The Microsoft Open Technologies Hub is releasing this open source project, making it simple to integrate Kinect scenarios and experiences in creative development. MS Open Tech has worked closely with open source communities such as openFrameworks (OF) and Cinder and the Kinect for Windows team to integrate the new Kinect Common Bridge in popular creative development libraries and toolkits.

OF and Cinder are broadly used by developers creating advanced graphic applications with 3D animations and deep dive interaction. What a better fit for creative applications than Kinect? Imagine interacting with your 3D models using your voice and hand or body gestures.

The Kinect for Windows SDK already allows to use the Kinect for Windows sensor in a C++, C# or Visual Basic application with advanced control on the Kinect data. In the recent release of their 1.8 SDK, Kinect for Windows further expanded access to Kinect by introducing an HTML5/JavaScript app model that allows Web developers to use Kinect in their web applications. The Kinect Common Bridge sits on top of the Kinect for Window SDK providing useful and powerful abstractions allowing developers to focus on creativity and building great apps.

The Kinect Common Bridge has been designed for and with creative developers, working closely with communities like Cinder and openFrameworks.

“The Kinect Common Bridge is brilliantly designed for creative coders of all levels. The people at MS Open Tech have made integrating the device into Cinder easier, faster, and more stable than any other library out there. The interface to basic tasks is dead simple.  Access to the lower level API is uninhibited, allowing the implementation of more esoteric features.  This new approach from MS Open Tech means less time managing a wrapper library and more time making cool things.”Stephen Schieberl – Cinder contributor

In his blog post, Stephen describes how to use the new Kinect Common Bridge block in Cinder and how he and the creative technology team at Wieden+Kennedy have developed and are already using it.

"The Kinect Common Bridge provides for the Kinect what best facilitates creative coding: a way to start exploring and experimenting in a few lines of intuitive code. It simplifies accessing this powerful device and library but also leaves the door open to further exploration of the Kinect SDK and all the functionality it provides for interaction, visualization, and creativity. Any creative coding library can leverage the Kinect Common Bridge with a few simple translation methods, which means that everyone gets a powerful tool to use. It's remarkable that MS Open Tech is taking the time and energy to invest in fostering a relationship with creative code and coders in the best way possible: saying it with code."Joshua Noble - openFrameworks contributor

Joshua and James George have created an openFrameworks addon on GitHub for the Kinect Common Bridge that includes documentation and examples that will teach you how to use this new library with the openFrameworks creative coding environment.

The Kinect for Windows and MS Open Tech teams are working closely with other open source communities who are interested in integrating Kinect scenarios and experiences in their projects. If you are interested in integrating Kinect Common Bridge in your own project, or if you want to participate in this new open source project, let’s meet on GitHub, and to learn more on development with Kinect, check out the Kinect for Windows dev center.

Olivier Bloch, Senior Technical Evangelist, MS Open Tech
Adalberto Foresti, Principal Program Manager, MS Open Tech