Getting started with Kinect Interactions


Looks like it's going to be a v1.7 kind of week (I know, imagine that!). Today's post by András  Velvárt is a great getting started guide for one of the cool new features in the Kinect for Windows SDK, v1.5, "Kinect Interactions"

Kinect Interactions with WPF - Part I: Getting Started

... Kinect Interactions. Kinect Interactions allow developers to create interactive applications with a new, well-designed and ergonomically friendlier interaction language than before. The Kinect SDK can now detect a “push towards the screen” gesture to activate buttons, and this is the recommended “activate” gesture now instead of the old “hover, wait until the circle fills and its pressed” gesture.

Browsing lists larger than a dozen or so items has been even more difficult using Kinect. The recommended solution was to implement a “swipe from side” gesture, which paged through items on the screen. Here is such a list, straight from my XBox:


You can see that the list has 358 games, and 5 of them are visible at the same time. To get through even half of this list, you would have to perform the swipe gesture 36 times! This is extremely slow, frustrating and physically exhausting.

The latest K4W SDK solves this issue by differentiating between an open and a closed hand. When you close your hand, you “grip” whatever’s underneath it (such as a scrollviewer), and then you can move your hand to scroll. If you release the scroller while your hand is still moving, the scrolling keeps happening – similarly to the inertia scroll you are already used to on touch devices. You can close your hand again at any time, and stop the inertia – again, as you expected.

In this post, I will help you to get started with Kinect Interactions by creating a Hello World WPF app that uses the features mentioned above. In later posts, I will dive deeper into the Kinect Interactions SDK, show you how to customize the existing controls, create new ones and go deep into the lower levels of the InteractionStream to invent new ways of interacting with your app. But first, let’s see how you can get started with Kinect Interactions today!

Note: I am assuming that you are familiar with C# and WPF for this article series.


  • First Things First – Download and Install the bits
  • Create the Project
  • Initializing the Kinect Sensor with KinectSensorChooser
  • Setting up the Kinect for Interactions
  • The Kinect Region
  • User Viewer
  • Interactive Controls
    • The KinectTileButton
    • The KinectCircleButton
  • They See Me Scrollin’



You can download the demo project for this article here.


In this post, I’ve introduced you to the basics to get started with a Kinect Interactions application – getting the Kinect sensor up and running, defining a KinectRegion, adding buttons and scrollable areas to it.

In the next posts of this series, I will dive deeper into the world of Kinect Interactions. We will dive deeper into the – unfortunately very sparsely documented – controls I discussed above, and see the customization options they offer. And finally, going deeper into the rabbit hole, we will examine the low level Interaction Stream.

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