Synapse, PureData & The Kinect



Now, back to work – this is a happy sad situation, let me explain. So we’ve had Christmas and New Years, hopefully yours was as eventful as mine, but the problem is we’ve just about managed to remember what day it is, when you realise that the holiday is coming to an end… It’s happy/sad situation.

Anywho, I’ve had a few questions about how I’m networking all parts of my project (Read this first if you don’t know what I’m talking about). The simple answer:

Microsoft Kinect » Synapse » Laptop « PureData

However going into a bit more detail, I’ll give you a brief overview of each aspect and try to not be too g33ky about it.
The Kinect:
Microsoft’s Kinect is quite simply a clever mix of infrared, cameras and microphones that are able to compile all this data and output the data of 10 joints on your body (Head, Torso, Elbow (L), Elbow (R), Hand (L), Hand (R), Knee (L), Knee (R), Feet (L), Foot (L). Of these joints it’s constantly streaming X, Y, Z positions of each. So if you do a little maths, 10 Joints, 3 values (X,Y & Z) = 30 continuous bits of data. However, you simple can’t ‘connect’ the ‘Kinect’ – try saying that in conversation.. it’s not cool – to your computer or laptop. This is where software comes into play.

Synapse is the name of the software that I’m interfacing with to get data from the Kinect (Thanks again to Iman from RITH). This is not the only method, but by far and to my knowledge, it is the most stable. The software itself looks a little like this;

Property of Ryan Challinor @ SynapseKinect

This is the default view, however once it has tracked you, it slightly changes to;

Property of Ryan Challinor @ SynapseKinect

Once the program has begun ‘Tracking a User’ – found a person, it will begin to output all this wondrous data via a thing called OSC. To not get too techy, it’s just one form of sending and receiving number data through ports.

My latest programming girlfriend – anyone who uses it will know that once you start seeing her, you will spend the majority of your nights with her. … so…yeah…

pD (PureData) is a “real-time graphical programming environment for audio, video, and graphical processing“. The best way to understand it by looking at it:

This picture was taking a while ago, so if it looks complicated, you’ll hate the latest version.

Sonice Kinect:

So if you then combine these things together with all their intricacies… you may find yourself having a little fun. – I’ll post a video later on as i don’t have the cable to connect my phone. But don’t worry, i’ll keep you updated.


One thought on “Synapse, PureData & The Kinect

  1. Any luck incorporating Kinect and Pd? In my attempt to figure it out and research online, there are a lot of dead ends or high barriers to entry when learning to combine the two.

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