teacher’s guide to kinect


Doug Bergman’s Beginner’s Guide to Kinect Programming

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Created by Doug Bergman @ KinectEducation.com

What will you create? Join the movement.

This is an introductory guide to getting started with Kinect programming and is broken up into three parts. Part I describes how to install the appropriate software and Parts II and III (in one video) help set up the coding environment to begin programming with Kinect

Update: This guide is for an earlier Kinect SDK release; Doug has written additional curriculum content which can be accessed here.


Getting Started with Creating Games and Apps with Kinect

Part I: Installing Required Software

Requirements: To start developing with Kinect, you will need:

You can buy just the Kinect (without the Xbox 360) camera for $100-$150. NOTE: If you use a camera that came with an Xbox system, it will not have the USB/Power cord with it, you’ll need one of those. You can purchase this online here. USB: HDE Power Supply Cable for Kinect.

Downloading & Installing Visual Studio C#:

  1. 1. Download Visual Studio C# Express
  2. 2. Click “Install NOW”
  3. 3. On the next page, locate the blue link titled “Install Visual Studio 2010 Express C#” (do not click the TRIAL). This will install the Visual Studio installer on your computer.
  4. Source: Visual Studio 2010

  5. 4. Double click that file and it will complete the begin install process.
  6. 5. Uncheck “SQL server.” You will then see the following screen:


Image Description: Beginning of installing Visual Studio Express

This download contains over 100 MB of information, so it may take a while to complete. Go get some coffee or wash your car :).

Downloading & Installing XNA 4.0:

Now, we’re going to install the Xbox game programming environment called XNA 4.0. With XNA 4.0, you can also create games for Windows, Windows Phone or Xbox.

XNA 4.0: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=23714

Downloading & Installing Kinect SDK Beta 2:

Next, install the Kinect SDK Beta 2. This install allows the computer hardware and software to interact with the Kinect camera and the data it sends or receives.

First, determine whether your Windows 7 operating system is a 32-bit or 64-bit system. Check this by right-clicking on “My Computer” and selecting properties.


Download the Kinect SDK Beta 2 from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=27876.

Find the appropriate download that matches your operating system.

Source: Kinect for Windows


After this final step, you’re finished with part one!

Parts II and III: Beginning Programming

The video below serves as an introductory guide for beginning with Kinect programming.


If you have any questions or run into any problems, feel free to contact us.

Join the movement

Doug Bergman | KinectEducation | Microsoft Partner in Learning


Teacher’s Guide to Kinect and Gesture-Based Learning

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

UPDATE: This guide uses drivers that were released before the Kinect SDK came out and is not compatible with the Kinect SDK. Click here for our Kinect-SDK supported guide

—————————————————————————————————————————- Kinect is more than a gaming device; realistically, it’s an input device that can facilitate gaming (think of it like the mouse and keyboard). With a few easy tweaks that anyone can do, we can use this device to transform learning in classrooms. You don’t have to be a programmer to do this, but you do need to have a passion for innovative learning.

If we can get a community of educators and students to understand what this means and how to do it, we can develop an entire bank of gesture-based “drivers” to support all software currently in existence.

In other words, with this tool, we can we easily take existing applications (Google Earth, flash-based activities, calculators, etc.) and integrate them with Kinect. Let’s start with the end in mind; watch my videos below to see what I’m talking about. Keep in mind that I did this in a matter of three minutes. My intent wasn’t to program it to perfection, but rather to show that the process is easy to grasp.

Playing piano with Kinect

All you’re doing is mapping your gestures to keyboard characters and mouse commands. Once you’ve grasped the concept, it’s very, very simple to do.

What can we do with this? Take existing software and make it Kinect compatible. We can easily develop and deliver gesture-based learning opportunities with the bank of software already in existence. After you watch the video and read the guide below, think of software that you want to see “Kinectified” and put it in the forums. From there, I’ll establish a directory of files that can be used for any software.

This video I created will give you a better visual of how to get started; I highly recommend that you watch it. Even with the video, you’ll still need to reference the guide below to find the list of commands.


This guide looks lengthy, but it’s only because it has a list of all the commands…..please don’t let that intimidate you. The full guide is available from Institute of Creative Technologies; I’ve just edited and restructured their guide to be more appealing to the K-12 education sector. If you don’t yet have a Kinect, please consider purchasing one from a source that will support the costs associated with hosting this site.


Step 1: Install Software

To use FAAST, you will need to download and install the following software:




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