With the Kinect, Microsoft is providing today's hackers with a powerful off-the-shelf system for accessing motion controls and 3D imaging; letting people build things that would have been out of reach for anyone but experts and researchers just a few years ago. Unfortunately, as is often the case in the hobbyist world, the quantity and decentralized nature of online documentation can be daunting for first-timers, discouraging people that might otherwise be interested in joining the scene. Luckily, that may no longer be the case with the release of Greg Borstein's new book Making Things See: 3D Vision with Kinect, Processing, Arduino and MakerBot.
With Making Things See — the newest in the Make: Books series from O'Reilly — Borstein tries to bring the skills he learned as a grad student at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program to the hacker and builder communities at large. At 440 pages, this is a substantial publication, with instructions for 12 projects including "'Stayin' Alive' dance move triggers MP3" (featured in the video below), and a section on capturing meshes and 3D printing using the Kinect. While the book isn't going to teach you how to code from scratch (the book is for "beginning creative coders," and all of the examples are in Processing), if you think you have the skills you need to get started, the time has never been better to pull that Kinect off the shelf and fire up your text editor.