Is the xbox one kinect still worth getting?


as the title says, im looking at xbox one kinects - I had worked with the original years ago when they were around like malaria.
but now im looking at cameras to use with openFrameworks & other projects & was wondering whether it would be worth getting an xbox one kinect & if its still being developed to work in oF, along with a macOS system.
if not. are there any good alternatives?

ive seen kinect 2s up for around £30, which is pretty damn great. but just wondering if it is worth it.


Personally I find the Kinect v1 is the best all round depth camera for your money.

I would only use the Xbox One Kinect (v2) if I needed the higher quality color stream or the sightly better depth accuracy in the near range 0.5 - 2m.

They are a pain to run long distances.

All the other depth cameras are either similar or worse than the v1.

I might go with an Orbecc camera only because they have a real API but it’s basically the same as a v1.

I would probably pick up a Kinect v2 for 30 pounds. But I’d probably would buy some v1s as well

Hope that’s helpful!



I’ve been buying Kinect 1 (model 1414) as trade-in stock from game shops super-cheap by the box load. Usually £10-20 each, depending on whether they have power supplies or not. Kinect 2 at similar prices… if you get a Kinect 1414 without power supply you can get new old stock power supplies from E-Bay but they are around £30 each… or they are super easy to make battery powered…

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It’s quite nice, get it (not malaria)

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I’ve seen kinect 1s for around £8 with power adapter. but in reality it would be nicer to have a greater resolution as well. I can then use it for other things, even as a webcam type thing.

so I think a kinect v2 is on my list now. shame that the adapter is near as expensive as the actual kinect. weird. but really its still cheaper than many other things on offer

thanks folks

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For me one advantage of the v2 is that it takes sunlight much much better than the v1

@pandereto - interested by this - is this inherent in the difference from structured light IR to time of flight or something else? I’ve been hacking kinect 1414s to make volumetric stills cameras for street photography (and using the occipital which is also structured light) and pretty much everything ends up being at night or at sunset…
how much of a difference is there?

@danb I can not tell you the technical reason but is a fact that with a v1 you do not get a depth map outdoor and with a v2 you get. Maybe with lots of direct sunlight you get holes and artifacts in the depth map but there is info.

I used v2 in outdoor installations with sunlight and im happy with the result, i create people contours using this camera and it has been working great.

However i do not tested skeleton tracking but i think it will not work…

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ive just gotten my V2, really happy it works with theos v2 ofxaddon right away - though im thinking to take that apart & get much of what the original kinect had.

im just wondering [since ive not used them in some time] - is the hardware V1 the same as the V2 [aside from the 1080 resolution & better depth] - because im just thinking to make an add-on that can use the kinect V2 much easier like the V1 add-on in the openFrameworks release

just wondering if anyone else has messed around, or whether its worth doing a choppy choppy chop shop job for the ofxaddon?
personally id thinking’s they were kind of the same, aside from the smaller things

Its actually very different hardware.
The v1 is structured light with an IR laser projector and the v2 uses a Time of Flight sensor.

I added a few more features for the v2 for getting world coordinates here:

Its still def fairly bare bones compared to ofxKinect.

If you are on Windows @elliotwoods addon has a lot more features.

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not on windows, so ofxKinectV2 is the choice right now. but did randomly come across that addon.

aye, ive just been thinking on the ease for other users [even for myself]. plus having things from the V1 version to be in V2.
though I will look at the link you put on, didn’t spot that at first.

ill more than likely do a hack job just to see what I come up with & see what can work. would be nice to have a few more features :wink:

I generally prefer the V2 because:

  1. SDK is so much better (yes on windows only though)
  2. Edges of objects are much much cleaner than V1
  3. Skeleton tracking + body outline tracking are way better, and there’s things like face tracking too (if you ever need that)
  4. Better industrial design (Less ugly casing, 1/4" mounting thread)


  1. There are ToF artefacts (e.g. try looking into a 90 degree corner, things get weird)
  2. High bandwidth = USB issues
  3. So much more hardware to plug together

One more piece of weirdness…
The Kinect V2 is actually a 300fps A-B IR camera (these are actually delivered to the PC). I still haven’t tried it, but there might be some applications (e.g. blob tracking, or anything with a sliding window) where it’s possible to deal with that stream directly and get 300fps performance.


awesome. cheers for that elliot.

I was checking a few more features of the V2 & happy with it, but also did just buy a V1 to do tests, for tutorial stuff [plus was only £6 with adapter ;)]
on looking further at the V2 & seeing other people do tests, there is potential to take it much further, which I’m looking forward to checking out.

the V2 is still a really nice piece of equipment & has so many lovely features. one such is finding thumb & finger, for some type of crab hand grabbing. not quite the leap motion, but still damn nice :wink:

It is not really worth it to get xbox one kinect now, as V2 is loaded with great features as compared to V1

If you are on a budget, I mean tight budget, then v1 is good. Plus as the well syntax is very transferable to ofVideoGrabber if you didn’t have one to hand but were wanting to get things still made.

However. If you are in the realm of being able to buy a V2 & want to look at the other features the V2 can do, then it is worth it.
I admit I have not played with mine as much as the v1 [3 of them] & want to do more with the V2 - especially look at getting the syntax near about the same.
No time frame for that though

Also being on macOS has proved to be annoying, since it is behind on things like using the V2, where the v1 is near enough the same for all platforms.
I’d say if you are macOS, then v1 is still great. If you are on windows, V2 is worth it, even with a v1 to put side by side with.

If you can find a cheap one, then by all means it’s worth it