Can I Use the Kinect as a Webcam?

With the release of the "Kinect for Windows SDK," Microsoft opened the door for Kinect users to begin using the Kinect device with computers. Since the Kinect is, at its core, a camera, one of its potential uses is as a webcam. By installing both the Kinect for Windows SDK and the "KinectCam" freeware, using your Kinect as a webcam can become a reality on your Windows computer.

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The Kinect SDK is only available for Windows-based computers.

Step

Open a Web browser and navigate to "research.microsoft.com." Type "Kinect SDK" in the search bar and click the "Search" button. Click on the "Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research" link, followed by the "Download" button. Click the "Download" link for your version of Windows to download the install file.

Step

Double-click the Kinect SDK install file and follow the onscreen instructions to install "Kinect for Windows SDK."

Step

Open a Web browser and navigate to "e2esoft.cn." Move your mouse cursor over the "Products" menu and select the "KinectCam" option. Click the "Download" link to download the ZIP file. Double-click the ZIP file to unzip its contents.

Step

Click the "Start" button and select the "Computer" option. Double-click on the "C:\" drive icon to open it. Open the "KinectCam" folder and drag the "KinectCam.ax" file into the computer's "C:\" drive.

Step

Click the "Start" button and type "command prompt" in the search box. Right-click the "Command Prompt" option in the search results and select the "Run as Administrator" option to launch the command prompt.

Step

Type "cd “C:\”" in the command prompt window and press the "Enter" key. Type "c:\windows\system32\regsvr32.exe KinectCam.ax" in the command prompt window and press the "Enter" key.

Step

Connect the Kinect sensor to the computer via the device's USB connection cable. Now, whenever you launch a program that requires the use of a webcam, the Kinect sensor will show up as a compatible webcam device.