Kinect vs Xtion vs Other

Hi all,

I am a VVVV newbie and just venturing into the interactive projection arena.

As funds are limited I’d like some input on the best way forward with regards an input device (camera). My initial idea was to get a pure IR high res camera but it seems that most of you folk are using either the Kinect system or, to a suprisingly lesser degree, the Asus Xtion system.

I’d really appreciate any advice / pros / cons you could offer me.

Best regards

Kinect and Xtion are equivalent really, the kinect sdk drivers seem better to me than openni… They’re great for tracking as many of the tricky things with 2d tracking are taken care of, ie lighting background subtraction etc, but sometimes 2d will do, cheap end, pseye are ok once hacked, or imaging source, or basler cameras for higher end, depends on what your trying to do, on what budget!
I love the hand tracking with the kinect, really easy to use…

Asus XTion : bus powered, light (OpenNI support only)
Kinect : Supports MS SDK which has vastly superior tracking (+ libfreenect support + OpenNI support)
Kinect for Windows : As Kinect, but also supports near field mode

Thank you catweasel and elliotwoods,

Seems like Kinect for windows is the solution of choice ;-)

My primary concern was the focal distance of ±3.5m and the usb connection but I’ll have to work around that.

Thanks again

IF you just need blobs where people are then a IR camera is fine, and gets around the 3.5m limit, if you need more refined tracking the kinect is better… Its very much on a case by case basis!

Asus Xtion - a nightmare over most usb extension cables

Kinect - way less of a nightmare

@mrboni - interesting!
i’ve had bad experiences with kinect on extensions also, but never did a thorough analysis
i wonder if it’s a power issue (since the kinect is independently powered)

Thank you again.

One last question then: Seeing as though the kinect for windows device is quite a bit more expensive than the xbox version and is only going to be available here in South Africa in a month or so …

Is there any good reason for me to wait to get that version rather than the xbox version?

@Grant - if you plan on scanning things closer to the camera then it is worth considering

but for ‘human scale’, there is no difference for VVVV
the other difference is that you can buy apps online to use with your own Kinect for Windows that you didn’t develop yourself. but it doesn’t affect VVVV

If you are looking for a very stable product with high industrial standard, check out !


radarTouch and kinect/xtion are really totally different things…

what could become interesting is this approach by samsung that really intends to become a rgbd-sensor

For me a BIG plus for the Xtion not mentioned is the 60fps 320x240 mode. While skeleton tracking is degraded at 320x240 (but works), hand tracking is OK. But I use these purely for the point cloud and usually subsample the data anyway, so the 2x improvement in temporal resolution and decreased latency is a big win.

And I have had no USB extension problems with the Xtion that I do not also have with the Kinect. I have found these active 10M extensions to be excellent:

Works with Kinect, Xtion, ps3eye - I just did an installation at GECCO with an Xtion and this cable that ran for two days without a hiccup.

Another thing I love about the Xtion is I can just keep it in my laptop bag, and pop out my laptop, plug in the Xtion, and I’m running anywhere. Without hacking, the Kinect MUST have AC.

And here’s a big surprise: while the Xtion does not have the range the Kinect does (due no doubt to less power for the laser via USB), it is actually superior to the Kinect for working outdoors! Neither will work in sunlight, but in my tests the Xtion will work in open shade where the Kinect will not work at all.

And an Xtion tip: that hex-shaped hole in the base is a perfect fit for a 1/4-20 hex nut - glue one in and now it’s got a tripod mount. Try that with a Kinect.

So I like the Xtion much better than the Kinect, and while I appreciate the MS SDK may offer some benefits, you are then locked into Kinects and MS, period. Use OpenNI, and you can use either, or what other Primesense-based camera may come out.

Good luck!

@ mediadog - I’ve had difficulties with 4/5 usb extensions I’ve used. Active/passive. I’ll check out your link.

I agree about most of the benefits you describe, and use the xtion every time if I just need the textures output.

I can’t stress enough though the gulf in performance between the skeleton tracking of either product. Hopefully openni will address this at some point

@mrboni - Interesting about the extensions, I have had far more problems with the Kinect (3 different XBox ones) even without extensions; some USB ports they won’t work with at all, and the Xtion will. Guess YMMV! I suspect on the Windoze Kinect they improved the USB interface for better compatibility.

without extensive testing - i am able to connect xtion with 32m extention (delock +lindy)
40m - failed
Clevo P150EN users - right side USB2 working ONLY, Left side USB2+3 NOT