Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide(Book Review)

Vuyiswamb
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This is a Review of the Book titled "Kinect for Windows SDK Programming Guide" by abhijit jana



INTRODUCTION

The Introduction of the book is important, it keeps the reader glued to the book. The Author here introduced the reader to the technology and the intro can make a reader want to read more about the technology.

Chapter 1

All the concept and the parts of the device were explained clearly for a Beginner to understand. There was an Image Microphone array it was not clear, instead of shading the microphones it was better if the author circles the points that he wanted to point out in the first Diagram of Chapter one. One more thing I noticed that the images does not have numbering like “Figure 1.1” to example diagrams, this style of authoring makes the book readable and reference easily especially when discussing a subject that has lots of example diagrams, especially if it can be used in Colleges or universities.

When the Author introduced the technology, he stated that the Kinect came from Xbox Kinect Sensor and by that statement, he supported his introduction by also explaining the difference between the Kinect Sensor for Windows and also the Xbox 360 sensor and the explanation was clear and understandable.

Chapter 2

Chapter two gets you started with the Kinect, it helped you setup your Development environment. Everything was explained clearly, the explanation were clear enough for the beginner to understand.

Chapter 3

In chapter 3 the author gets you started in building the first Kinect application. He explained how Kinect interact with the Device and how all fit into the big picture. Steps were sequential and there was no too much information to confuse a beginner in the steps to create a new application in Kinect. Screenshots were marvelously done, expect the figure issue I explained in chapter 1.

Chapter 4

Chapter 4 is all about understanding the Kinect camera and how to use it effectively. The example used are simple and clear as compared to attempts tried by other authors to explain this subject. This chapter also show you have to move or Tilt the sensor which is a subject once blogged about also here on Dotnetfunda.

Chapter5

This Chapter the author looked at “The Depth Data”. This subject might not be an easy one for a beginner the first time they read it. But the author tried very hard to make it easy by demonstrating with diagrams. There are calculations that one needs to stop and understand. But all make sense if you revisit the chapter.

Chapter6

Chapter 6 is the most important chapter of the book,” Human Skeleton tracking”. Without Skeleton tracking there is no Kinect. The author made sure it had to be perfectly explained from a beginner’s point of view.  When I started Kinect, I wanted to select items with my hand, but I was never interested in the Skeleton code example, maybe it’s just that the code examples intimidated me, but later I realized that the Author explained and made it easy to understand.

This chapter the Author explains how skeleton tracking works, how to track your hands over the buttons and how the hand can know it’s over the button. These are the most important parts of Kinect or rather let me say these are the features of Kinect that I adore.

In this Chapter there is an intrusion detection example that saves the images, if there are intrusion. This example app can been well if you are building applications in the security industry.  Imagine in an Intrusion investigation, one need to play the video the whole day to find something, but the author shows a good point that one can detect an intrusion and the investigation can start the time it was triggered on the system, which saves time.

Chapter7

In chapter 7 the author show something interesting, probably everyone was waiting to see how Kinect will do in the voice command department. Kinect sensor has four sensitive microphones. In this Chapter the author helps setup or make sure your microphone is setup correctly. The author is also demonstrating with a small simple example that records sounds and play the same. The Chapter is short and informative.

Chapter8

The Author extend chapter 7 with chapter by giving attention to the beast “Speech Recognition” The reason why call this a beast, is that many system or hardware done in the past to do “Speech Recognition” were horrible. Microsoft came back with a better solution, though the solution is still not perfect but it has improved from what has been in the past. The Author is introducing Natural User Interface (NUI). The Author also explained clearly the grammar file that is used to setup the Grammar that Kinect will use to recognize the commands. I have learned something from this chapter when I was building a Banking prototype, where a client needed to speak his account number and it reflected on the screen and I made it more interesting by adding the commands like Delete. I have written an article on this you can find it here http://channel9.msdn.com/coding4fun/kinect/Writing-Voice-Commands-with-the-Kinect  which will eventually lead to Dotnetfunda my home.

Chapter 9

This chapter the Author extends the Skeleton tracking chapter (Chapter 6). Building Gesture-controlled Applications. In this Chapter the author explains another important part of Kinect. Gestures are part of Kinect and my 2 years old daughter enjoys Kinect application because of gesture, she does not need to go my laptop and try to use a mouse that will confuse even more. The Author explains clearly how to recognize gestures in your application, he explains the code clearly and I must admit I got frustrated at first when I tried gestures myself from code examples. Kinect is new and you will get very few info on this on the internet. So the book shed the light on subject.  One other interesting thing is the swiping gesture, imagine having carousel and you use swiping, it’s awesome.

Chapter 10

I only own one Kinect Device, so I can’t do examples in chapter 10, but basically the author in this chapter is show us how to use more than one Kinect devices on your application. In this chapter the Author explain how to add the second device to your development environment and also identifying the Kinect Sensors uniquely which was shown in the chapter 3 example infobox.

Chapter 11

In this Chapter the author shows you how to integrate your Kinect application with Windows Azure   , Face tracking and importantly working with XNA and 3D Avatars. There is a Brief info on this, if you want to know about XNA you can buy a book that concentrate on the subject.


Thank you for Visiting Dotnetfunda

Vuyiswa Maseko

 

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About the Author

Vuyiswamb
Full Name: Vuyiswa Maseko
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Member Since: 7/6/2008 11:50:44 PM
Country: South Africa
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Vuyiswa Junius Maseko is a Founder of Vimalsoft (Pty) Ltd (http://www.vimalsoft.com/) and a forum moderator at www.DotnetFunda. Vuyiswa has been developing for 16 years now. his major strength are C# 1.1,2.0,3.0,3.5,4.0,4.5 and vb.net and sql and his interest were in asp.net, c#, Silverlight,wpf,wcf, wwf and now his interests are in Kinect for Windows,Unity 3D. He has been using .net since the beta version of it. Vuyiswa believes that Kinect and Hololen is the next generation of computing.Thanks to people like Chris Maunder (codeproject), Colin Angus Mackay (codeproject), Dave Kreskowiak (Codeproject), Sheo Narayan (.Netfunda),Rajesh Kumar(Microsoft) They have made vuyiswa what he is today.

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