Kinect osx capabilities

Hi peeps,

I’m working in a project where I would like to add some interaction making use of a Kinect camera, and I ran into a few doubts:

  1. Can I get the same functionality and features using ofxKinect in OSX than in Windows?
  2. There is a big difference between using ofxKinectV2 in OSX or in Windows (in terms of Kinect hardware accessibility and camera features).

Hope someone can give me an answer. :slight_smile:


The SDK is not available for OSX so you need to use libfreenect to get the frames - this is pretty cool but misses a few things, most notably for me, there is no coordinate space transformation from colour to depth, only from depth to colour so this means if you know where a pixel is in the colour frame there is no way to work out where it is in the depth frame, but you can go the other way round and you can work with a rectified colour image, one that is transformed into the same size and aspect ratio of the depth frame (512*424 I think).

Libfreenect also uses openCL or Cuda to unpack the depth frames and the SDK is CPU based, this is actually great, and with libfreenect you can specify an openCL device to use so you get your CPU back.

I have an addon for the kinectV2 here, there are many variations out there that may be better than mine.

Also there is no native skeleton tracking, but you can use it with openNi (there are some addons that are working with the latest OF for this. here is one They lack some features like hand states and of course the voice recognition from the SDK is not available.

One serious limitation of the actual windows SDK however is that it is limited to one camera per computer, libfreenect and openNi are not limited to this so this is great (both work on linux, OSX and windows as well). The quality of skeleton tracking for openNI is also not as good as it was in the SDK.

Hope this helps


If you’re planning on using OSX, be sure to read this warning that’s in the readme of the add-on:

NOTE: Xbox Kinect models > 1414 (1473, etc) or Kinect4Windows devices that have been plugged into an XBox will not work with ofxKinect on Mac OSX

I had this issue, and read this quite late. The Kinect would stop working after ~10s.
The same Kinect performed well under Linux Ubuntu however.

1 Like

as per the caveats noted above - it does work fine with both kinect 1414 and kinect 2 -
I did a walkthrough tutorial on youtube building a simple 3D phootbooth on OSX with a kinect 1414

1 Like

I also did a quick intro to using ofXNI for skeletal tracking on a kinect 2 - building a simple 3d painter system

@fresla thanks for your explanation, now I have a better overview. I’m gonna try your ofxKinectV2 addon.
I’ll let you know how it goes.