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How-to: Successfully Install Kinect on Windows (OpenNI and NITE)

, 3 Dec 2013 CPOL
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How-to: Successfully install Kinect on Windows (OpenNI and NITE).

UPDATE: For more Kinect blog posts, consider visiting my new website pterneas.com. The website will always be up-to-date with the latest SDKs and sensors.

Introduction

Playing Kinect games is a really great experience. Programming for Kinect is even greater! Browsing the web, you can find many cool "hacks" (CLNUI, OpenKinect) which allow Kinect be used by a PC rather than an XBOX. Via these hacks, we gain access to Kinect's cameras (color and depth), LED, accelerometer and motor. Obtaining both the raw and the depth image, it is easier to build Machine Vision applications. But the main problem remains: Kinect magic is its software and the device simply cannot give us all those body-tracking algorithms by itself.

Fortunately, PrimeSense, the company behind Kinect, released OpenNI framework and NITE middleware. This means that we can now have access to features such as real-time skeleton tracking, gesture recognition, wave detection and much more!

Prerequisites

OpenNI and NITE installation can be painful if not done properly. Let's do it step by step:

Step 0

Uninstall any previews drivers, such as CLNUI. Look at the end of this post if you want to see how you can have multiple drivers installed.

Step 1

  • Download Kinect Drivers and unzip. 
  • Open the unzipped folder and navigate to Bin folder. 
  • Run the msi Windows file.

Drivers are now installed in your PC.

Step 2

Download and install the latest stable or unstable OpenNI Binaries from OpenNI website.

Step 3

Download and install the latest stable or unstable OpenNI Compliant Middleware Binaries (NITE) from OpenNI website.

During installation, provide the following (free) PrimeSense key: 0KOIk2JeIBYClPWVnMoRKn5cdY4=

Step 4

Download and install the latest stable or unstable OpenNI Compliant Hardware Binaries from OpenNI website.

Both stable and unstable releases have worked for me. If you have trouble installing the unstable releases, just try the stable ones.

Step 5

  • Plug in your Kinect device and connect its USB port with your PC.
  • Wait until the driver software is found and applied.
  • Navigate to the Device Manager (Control Panel). You should see something like the following:

Kinect in the Device Manager window

Step 6 

Navigate to C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Samples\Bin\Release (or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenNI\Samples\Bin\Release) and try out the existing demo applications. Try the demos found in C:\Program Files\Prime Sense\NITE\Samples\Bin\Release (or C:\Program Files (x86)\Prime Sense\NITE\Samples\Bin\Release), too. If they work properly, then you are done! Congratulations! 

Step 7 

You have successfully installed Kinect in your Windows PC! Read the documentation and familiarize yourself with the OpenNI and NITE API. You'll find the proper assemblies in:

  • C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Bin (or C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenNI\Bin) and
  • C:\Program Files\Prime Sense\NITE\Bin (or C:\Program Files (x86)\Prime Sense\NITE\Bin)

OpenNI is the primary assembly you'll need when developing Natural User Interfaces applications.

C# tutorials on using the managed OpenNI.net libraries can be found in this blog, so stay tuned Wink | ;-) .

User tracker Kinect application

Update June 12, 2011: Troubleshooting

  • If you are running a version of OpenNI older than 1.1.0.38, then you need to replace the XML files found under Program Files\OpenNI\Data and Program Files\PrimeSense\NITE\Data with the corresponding ones found here.
  • If the demos do not run, then navigate to the Control Panel and open the Environment Variables panel. Under "System variables", find OPEN_NI_BIN variable and replace C:\Program Files\OpenNI\bin with C:\Program Files\OpenNI\Bin (uppercase "B"). 

Installing Multiple Drivers 

Thanks to my friend George Karakatsiotis (@erevodifwntas), you can now have various Kinect drivers installed concurrently. Here's how to achieve this: 

  • Open Device Manager 
  • Right click Kinect Camera under PrimeSensor.
  • Select "Update driver software"
  • Select "Browse my computer for driver software" and "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".
  • Select the driver of your preference (e.g. CLNUI).
  • You are done!  

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Vangos Pterneas
Product Manager LightBuzz
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Vangos Pterneas is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in the Kinect technology. He helps companies from all over the world grow their revenue by creating profitable software products. Vangos is the owner of LightBuzz Software agency and author of two technical books.
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionFailing to install Kinect drivers on 8.1 Pin
iko79, 13-Mar-15 7:44
memberiko7913-Mar-15 7:44 
AnswerRe: Failing to install Kinect drivers on 8.1 Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 13-Mar-15 10:43
professionalVangos Pterneas13-Mar-15 10:43 
QuestionError while Installing PrimeSensor Pin
Sayalee Bhanavase, 8-Mar-15 19:30
memberSayalee Bhanavase8-Mar-15 19:30 
AnswerRe: Error while Installing PrimeSensor Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 9-Mar-15 7:17
professionalVangos Pterneas9-Mar-15 7:17 
QuestionWindows 8.1 Pin
Member 10584553, 10-Feb-14 0:00
memberMember 1058455310-Feb-14 0:00 
AnswerRe: Windows 8.1 Pin
Joe Angry, 10-Feb-14 12:57
memberJoe Angry10-Feb-14 12:57 
GeneralRe: Windows 8.1 Pin
jkaris, 10-Feb-14 13:39
memberjkaris10-Feb-14 13:39 
GeneralRe: Windows 8.1 Pin
iko79, 13-Mar-15 8:12
memberiko7913-Mar-15 8:12 
AnswerRe: Windows 8.1 Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 11-Feb-14 4:20
memberVangos Pterneas11-Feb-14 4:20 
Questionhow to make kinect object in matlab?? Pin
yawar86, 26-Sep-12 2:57
memberyawar8626-Sep-12 2:57 
GeneralThank you - that worked fine Pin
yawar86, 26-Sep-12 2:55
memberyawar8626-Sep-12 2:55 
QuestionA Cautionary Tale Pin
DaveGD, 11-May-12 6:34
memberDaveGD11-May-12 6:34 
GeneralRe: A Cautionary Tale Pin
tttdolph, 1-Aug-12 11:42
membertttdolph1-Aug-12 11:42 
QuestionThank [modified] Pin
vuadapass, 2-Feb-12 15:52
membervuadapass2-Feb-12 15:52 
QuestionArticle needs to be updated.. Pin
Praveen Kullu, 2-Nov-11 1:41
memberPraveen Kullu2-Nov-11 1:41 
AnswerRe: Article needs to be updated.. Pin
Darren Weir, 3-May-12 18:57
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GeneralRe: Article needs to be updated.. Pin
Darren Weir, 3-May-12 22:03
memberDarren Weir3-May-12 22:03 
QuestionThanks Pin
YDaoust, 30-Jun-11 1:22
memberYDaoust30-Jun-11 1:22 
GeneralYellow triangle Pin
g00fying, 9-Jun-11 10:39
memberg00fying9-Jun-11 10:39 
GeneralDevice is not connected Pin
matteosistisette, 8-Jun-11 12:28
membermatteosistisette8-Jun-11 12:28 
GeneralRe: Device is not connected Pin
TeisDraiby, 10-Jun-11 1:33
memberTeisDraiby10-Jun-11 1:33 
GeneralRe: Device is not connected Pin
nhanksd85, 11-Jun-11 23:49
membernhanksd8511-Jun-11 23:49 
GeneralConnecting error Pin
yunnie, 18-May-11 18:36
memberyunnie18-May-11 18:36 
GeneralBlinking green led Pin
dede_ii, 17-May-11 4:26
memberdede_ii17-May-11 4:26 
GeneralRe: Blinking green led Pin
Member 7987097, 7-Jun-11 6:44
memberMember 79870977-Jun-11 6:44 
GeneralHaving trouble getting the viewer application to work! Pin
Member 7910392, 9-May-11 19:53
memberMember 79103929-May-11 19:53 
GeneralRe: Having trouble getting the viewer application to work! Pin
Member 7910392, 9-May-11 20:02
memberMember 79103929-May-11 20:02 
GeneralRe: Having trouble getting the viewer application to work! Pin
Member 7910392, 9-May-11 20:19
memberMember 79103929-May-11 20:19 
GeneralRe: Having trouble getting the viewer application to work! Pin
Member 11325263, 20-Dec-14 9:09
memberMember 1132526320-Dec-14 9:09 
GeneralRe: Having trouble getting the viewer application to work! Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 21-Dec-14 9:43
professionalVangos Pterneas21-Dec-14 9:43 
GeneralThank you Pin
wailo, 4-May-11 23:53
memberwailo4-May-11 23:53 
Generalmanualy triggering "user lost" event Pin
DuleKrtola, 4-May-11 22:04
memberDuleKrtola4-May-11 22:04 
Generalinstall 2 kinects on windows 7 - 64 bits Pin
gonzato, 28-Apr-11 3:16
membergonzato28-Apr-11 3:16 
GeneralBlack Screen Pin
danfelbm, 9-Apr-11 15:45
memberdanfelbm9-Apr-11 15:45 
GeneralRe: Black Screen Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 12-Apr-11 11:41
memberVangos Pterneas12-Apr-11 11:41 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
Mostafa Pordel, 30-Mar-11 0:44
memberMostafa Pordel30-Mar-11 0:44 
GeneralHow-to: Successfully Install Kinect on Windows Pin
Member 7690454, 7-Mar-11 1:40
memberMember 76904547-Mar-11 1:40 
GeneralRe: How-to: Successfully Install Kinect on Windows Pin
speedofspin, 30-Mar-11 0:06
memberspeedofspin30-Mar-11 0:06 
GeneralOne or more of the following notes could not be enumerated Pin
Haris Zacharatos, 3-Mar-11 20:20
memberHaris Zacharatos3-Mar-11 20:20 
GeneralBleu screen and error Pin
Member 7710351, 27-Feb-11 12:09
memberMember 771035127-Feb-11 12:09 
GeneralRe: Bleu screen and error Pin
Member 7710351, 27-Feb-11 16:36
memberMember 771035127-Feb-11 16:36 
GeneralRe: Bleu screen and error Pin
crizzle86, 8-Apr-11 4:42
membercrizzle868-Apr-11 4:42 
GeneralRe: Bleu screen and error Pin
crizzle86, 8-Apr-11 5:13
membercrizzle868-Apr-11 5:13 
QuestionInstalling Kinect for PC on Windows 7 Pin
Member 7690454, 20-Feb-11 23:49
memberMember 769045420-Feb-11 23:49 
AnswerRe: Installing Kinect for PC on Windows 7 Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 21-Feb-11 5:40
memberVangos Pterneas21-Feb-11 5:40 
GeneralRe: Installing Kinect for PC on Windows 7 Pin
Member 7690454, 21-Feb-11 19:23
memberMember 769045421-Feb-11 19:23 
GeneralWin7 Installation - Unable to get samples working [modified] Pin
dBoyceMan, 4-Feb-11 12:17
memberdBoyceMan4-Feb-11 12:17 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pin
Vangos Pterneas, 4-Feb-11 19:41
memberVangos Pterneas4-Feb-11 19:41 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working [modified] Pin
akapk, 7-Feb-11 15:10
memberakapk7-Feb-11 15:10 
GeneralRe: Win7 Installation - Unable to get samples working Pin
dBoyceMan, 18-Feb-11 5:09
memberdBoyceMan18-Feb-11 5:09 

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