Kinect alternative

Hi All

Now that kinect and especially the adapter for windows is getting harder and harder to find, I’d like to move on to something more future proof but it also need to work well with vvvv now.

what should I get?


Currently I am mostly interested in a depth image and not skeleton.

Frankly here is nothing out there right now as good as a K2 for depth, they are amazing cameras. I have found that places like GameStop have lots and lots of used K2s for cheap, and they are very easy to modify for direct 12V and USB3 connection so you do not need the adapter.

On the new side, there is of course the Orbbec Astra, and also the Xtion 2. The Astra is a structured-light camera, sort of an improved K1/Primesense/Xtion, while the Xtion 2 is a time-of-flight like the K2, but not as powerful, and a less stable depth image. Nice little metal USB powered package though.

I am starting to work the Stereolabs ZED, a stereo-vision camera that gives a depth map. Their latest SDK release improved the depth image resolution (“ultra” mode), and while it’s still no match for a K2 for depth fidelity, it uses visual light so it works in daylight, and has a much greater range. The flip side is that it does not work in low light or the dark - but I hear they can be modified like the old PS3Eye cameras for infrared.

Intel now has a series of infrared stereo-vision cameras (the D400 series), but I have not tried them yet. So they should work in daylight and the dark, as they have in IR illuminator built in, and I would guess you could use IR lights too.

So yeah, I am mourning the passing of the K2, as most things I do I combine pointclouds from multiple cameras, and their stability is amazing; all the others I have tried tend to fall apart when combining multiple pointclouds of distances over 2-3 meters.

Just a side note on K2, it works well in daylight, I have used it in direct sunlight.

The K2 rocks resolution wise, but it runs very into troubes with smoke or fog quite fast, which limits its use for vjing a bit. It is also not supported by ReconstructMe due to its non linear response. Anyhow, I love it!

I could suggest Tara - Stereo camera from e-con Systems. Depth Range is from 50 cm to 300cm.

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