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Kinect – revisited

Various ways Kinect 1 still runs in Mac OS with Max/MSP, Processing, and OSC.

Note: this is about the ‘old’ Kinects – not the latest versions (Kinect 2). Although, Dale Phurrough’s Max dp.kinect2 external works with Kinect 2 in Windows 8+.

(self portrait with Synapse)

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 4.38.25 PM


Synapse converts skeletal data to OSC. It still runs with Max/MSP even though it is not supported.

Here’s how to run with Max:

Don’t be surprised if Max crashes occasionally.


Max/MSP examples of skeletal tracking


Processing uses OpenNI library. Use the Processing package manager to install or update the OpenNI library.

There are several built-in examples (under Contributed Libraries). Many of them work, including the “hands” example. Wave your hand a lot to get it to start tracking.

jit.openni and dp.kinect

Dale Phurrough’s free Max external jit.openni is no longer supported. I was not yet able to find a Mac version that runs. The dp.kinect external runs only in Windows.

dp.kinect is for Kinect 1 and up to Windows 7. dp.kinect2 requires Windows 8+. More testing on the way. Note that dp.kinect is a commercial product.


Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 5.02.46 PM

Provides depth camera data as a Jitter matrix. Various modes, including IR.

A tutorial by Peter Elsea:



Jon Bellona OSC/Kinect libraries for Processing

I was able to run the Processing sketch and receive OSC data on port 8000 in Max – but the UI is somewhat confusing and there is no camera input to monitor skeleton tracking. This probably would not be difficult to add to the sketch by looking at the SimpleOpenNI examples.