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control pc with kinectLast time, I introduced you to Kinect hacking on the PC and the drivers involved How To Hack Your Kinect & Use It To Kill Zombies How To Hack Your Kinect & Use It To Kill Zombies Microsoft Kinect development has moved on to a more user friendly state now, and the drivers have been released for all to download and play with. One studio has even gone so far as to... Read More , as well as a basic zombie survival game demo. While killing zombies is awesome, it’s time we moved onto doing something actually useful. So I’d like to show you the Kinemote application, as well as how to use it to control both your mouse for general Windows tasks, and Xbox Media Center. This would make a fantastic addition to the perfect Plex-based media center Setup A Perfect Media Center With Plex [Mac & Windows] Setup A Perfect Media Center With Plex [Mac & Windows] Plex is widely regarded by many as being the best media player, manager and streaming application around - available for both Windows, Mac and even mobiles (though the mobile apps are not free). If you're... Read More I set up last week.

Start Fresh

If you followed along with the tutorial last time, you’ll already have a bunch of drivers installed. Unfortunately Kinemote is quite specific in the versions it can play nicely with, so it’s best if we go ahead and uninstall any OpenNi and PrimeSense drivers using the regular Windows uninstall.

control pc with kinect

Downloads & Installs

First off, Kinemote requires a quick registration on the forum before you can download it, so go ahead and do that now from this link.

The software required can all be downloaded from this thread at kinemote.net.

The thread outlines which versions of various drivers you need to download and install on that thread to, but here are direct links. You will need to register on the forum to get the actual Kinemote software though (if you are registered and logged in, this link should work for you).

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The first three are straight up easy installs (no need to edit config files as we did before). The last file you download should be extracted somewhere familiar, like your desktop. We need to use this to replace the Kinect motor drivers that should now be installed if you ran the first three already.

To do this, open up Device Manager and locate the Primesense section. There should be three devices listed. Right-click on the one for Kinect Motor and select update driver software.

kinect as remote control

Choose to browse manually and point the selection to the folder you just extracted called “Kinect nui motor and LED driver“. Windows should then go ahead and replace the driver with something different, like this:

kinect as remote control

Kinemote

OK, if you haven’t already, you should go ahead and install the Kinemote app from the forum I mentioned earlier. It comes as an executable install inside a zip file. Launch the app from your Start menu:

kinect as remote control

Open the options screen first, and let’s adjust a few things until you get acquainted with it. First, change the uppermost selection to wrist-wave. This will activate when you wave, which should be more familiar for regular Kinect users. Next, set the control style to virtual mouse to start with as it’s the simplest to grasp. From the general settings screen, I find it’s useful to turn on the video feedback too, just so you know when it’s watching and if it’s seeing you correctly. You can always deactivate when you’re comfortable.

Close the options panel, and that should be it! Wave your hand to activate tracking, and you can click by quickly pushing your hand backwards and forwards. It’s not perfect as pushing your hand forwards usually results in the cursor moving first, so fine control is difficult. However, I found a mouse in one hand just to click (or iPhone remote control) can remedy that.

The other option is to use it to control games using a custom set of keystrokes, for simple games and such. Try this out before moving on to media center control, as it helps you to grasp the control of back and mid planes. In modes other than virtual mouse, you have two layers of controls basically. Switch to custom keys to try it out. Move your hand forward or backward, and the video preview window will display red for backplane or green for midplane, as well as notifying you with a beep when you move between the two. Play around a bit, then switch to XBMC (or Boxee) mode when you have the hang of it.

Refer to the diagram below for media center control (from the KinEmote manual, also available on the forums).

control pc with kinect

It can be fiddly to get used to and you may find yourself flailling around for a bit, but I had pretty good control after 5 minutes of practicing.

What do you think? Easily the coolest remote control for your media center (and possibly the most expensive), ever! I’ll look into a Mac equivalent and report back next time if I find one.

  1. Sady92
    August 8, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    Thankyou for this article :) really helpful :)

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