Kinect to the web browser

This article first appeared in issue 240 of .net magazine – the world's best-selling magazine for web designers and developers.

The Microsoft Xbox Kinect was the first 3D motion sensing device to reach a mass market. As soon as it hit the shelves the internet was awash with hacks to hook it up to a computer. The first JavaScript library I found to expose data from a motion sensing device in a way that a web developer could take advantage of was DepthJS. Produced by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), DepthJS allows the browser to respond to predefined gestures as browser events in the same way that touch screen devices register the touchstart and touchend events.

The opportunities for motion sensing development in the browser have increased over recent years. This makes it an exciting area for anyone keen to exploit new changes in web development. There is a bewildering array of software choices so it’s important to understand your requirements from the outset. Different devices offer different interaction paradigms and there’s also a choice of libraries to tie the Kinect into the browser.

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