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Important Information About the Kinect Adaptor

The Kinect Adaptor lets you acquire images using a Kinect® for Windows® device. Kinects are often used in automotive IVS, robotics, human-computer interaction (HCI), security systems, entertainment systems, game design, and civil engineering. They can be used for analyzing skeletons, 3D mapping, gesture recognition, human travel patterns, sports and games, etc.

The Kinect adaptor is supported on 64-bit Windows.

Doing image acquisition with a Kinect for Windows camera is similar to using other cameras and adaptors, but with several key differences:

  • The Kinect for Windows device has two separate physical sensors, and each one uses a different DeviceID in the videoinput object. The Kinect color sensor returns color image data. The Kinect depth sensor returns depth and skeletal data. For information about Kinect device discovery and the use of two device IDs, see Detecting the Kinect Devices.

  • The Kinect for Windows device returns four data streams. The image stream is returned by the color sensor and contains color data in various color formats. The depth stream is returned by the depth sensor and returns depth information in pixels. The skeletal stream is returned by the depth sensor and returns metadata about the skeletons. There is also an audio stream, but this is unused by Image Acquisition Toolbox. For details on the streams, see Data Streams Returned by the Kinect.

  • The Kinect for Windows can track up to six people. It can provide full tracking on two people, and position tracking on up to four more.

  • In Image Acquisition Toolbox™, skeletal metadata is accessed through the depth sensor object. For an example showing how to access the skeletal metadata, see Acquiring Image and Skeletal Data Using Kinect.


The Kinect adaptor is intended for use only with the Kinect for Windows sensor.


With previous versions of the Image Acquisition Toolbox, the files for all of the adaptors were included in your installation. Starting with version R2014a, each adaptor is available separately through support packages. In order to use the Image Acquisition Toolbox, you must install the adaptor that your camera uses. See Image Acquisition Support Packages for Hardware Adaptors for information about installing the adaptors using MATLAB® Add-Ons. See Installing the Kinect for Windows Sensor Support Package for information specific to installing the Kinect support package. Also, in order to use the Kinect for Windows support, you must have version 1.6 of the Kinect for Windows Runtime installed on your system. If you do not already have it installed, it will be installed when you install the Kinect support package.