How Does the Motion Detection in XBOX Kinect Works?

Microsoft Kinnect

We all know about the arrival of a revolutionary Microsoft’s XBOX Kinect, but do you know how it actually works? Let’s check it out.


The camera in Kinect is powered by both software and hardware. It actually does two things:

1. Generating a 3D moving image which is there in the field view
2. Recognizing the human beings or the objects which are present in its line of sight

The older versions of the software programs used to get the differences in the color as well as texture. It actually distinguished the color backgrounds as the camera detected by transmitting invisible infrared light and then measuring the time of flight parameter after getting reflected from the objects.

Microsoft Kinnect Camera

So, when the light returns and lets the kinect camera know about its distance from the object. And then by using the infrared generator, it solves the partial ambient problem which then light to the sensor which registers the light with the visible light which makes the images with false positives.

MS Kinnect

The prime sense along with the Kinect encodes the information which is near to the IR light as the information is then returned back in the deformed state along with the fine image which are having the 3D texture with the appropriate depth.

microsoft kinnect IR


As now when we saw on how the kinect hardware as well as the Camera light IR responds or works, it’s time to see how these are interpreted in the middleware in terms of the software. The kinect comes with an onboard server which comes with the complex algorithms to process render the 3D image which is being generated with the help of the Kinect sensor or the camera.

The software then renders in the to recognize the body parts along with the joints with all body parts like along with the movements. All the moves are being recorded by the software which then symbolizes the moves and also it can recognize people: distinguishing human body parts, joints and movements, as well as distinguishing individual human faces from one another. When you step in front of it, the camera can detect where you are exactly.

microsoft kinnect middleware

Basically the processor in the XBOX processor translates all the movements which are captured by the Kinect camera and also collects the on screen events and after which the hand waving of the vertical as well as the horizontal one comes in the picture. Then all the gestures as well as the postures are recorded as in when the movements are happened. So, some of the games you can also play while at the comfort of the couch as you can move all your hands and thumbs pretending to play the games while you actually do that.


Kinect also comes with the microphone which basically enables the chat and the voice commands. With the help of microphone the voice is captured with the help of the conic audio capture. This is because, unlike a smartphone, you wouldn’t want the Kinect’s microphone to capture only sounds close to it: It’d only pick up the sound of the television set. The sensor which is placed in the kinect effectively catches all the audio which is present in the room.

With all the combined mechanism which is mentioned above along with the natural user interface of the multimedia rather than the traditional GUI so that it gives an overall feel of natural game.

This post is contributed by Chetan Bhawani, who is a technology evangelist and a tech blogger who writes for several blogs. If your are a rookie blogger looking for blog hosting packages, Chetan suggests going for his favorite unlimited hosting service provider offering some great plans.

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