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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kinect within VMWare

Recently Microsoft announces the availability of the Kinect 1.6 SDK. One of the big enhancements in this release is the support for the Kinect device within a virtual machine (VMWare or Parallels)!

For a client we developed a Kinect application which was shown at the Dutch Floriade festival. More details about this project in a next post.

The problem with the old Kinect SDK was the inability to use the Kinect within a virtual machine. Because of this I had to create a bootcamp partition and install Windows on it just for the sole purpose of Kinect development. The 1.6 SDK solves this!

Below are the results of my tests with the Kinect within VMWare. I used the following system configuration to test on:
  1. MacBook pro 2011 with 2Ghz core i7 and 8GB RAM..
  2. OSX Mountain Lion.
  3. VMWare Fusion 5 running Windows 7.
  4. Visual Studio Express 2012.
  5. Kinect 1.6 SDK.
First I tested the above setup with the Xbox Kinect. This did not work which I more or less expected since Mircosoft wants to push the Kinect for Windows for Kinect development.

Next I tested was the Kinect for Windows. After I connected the device I started the Shape Game sample application. The device was found and worked immediately! I also tested the Kinect with our own application and this also worked as expected.

Ont thing I noticed was that both applications did not run as smooth as when I ran the application under bootcamp. After examing my virtual machine settings I noticed I had given it only 1 cpu core (out of the available 8). This could be the problem. When I changed the maximum number of cpu cores the virtual machine may use to 4, things ran much smoother. There was no noticeable difference when running within a virtual machine or bootcamp. 

For more information about the 1.6 SDK see:

The new Kinect 1.6 SDK does work within a virtual machine if the Kinect for Windows is used.


Anonymous said...

Excellent, I was looking for this type of info, Thank you.
I have intention to run Kinect for Windows on my Early 2008 Mac Pro 2xQuad Intel running VMWare Fusion with Windows . The idea is to use Kinect with iClone Mocap Software to creat mocap animations.
From what you say it should work.

Halcon P said...

Thanks for your comment Jamie. I complement 50% of your experiments as follow:
- W7 inside VMWare player on Fedora 17.
- Kinect for Xbox.
- Microsoft for Windows SDK 1.6
RESULT: Doesn't work!!!

Apparently, the vmware mount the device in W7 and it recognizes the components (NUI Audio,NUI motor,NUI camera) but the toolkit doesn't found any Kinect.

Jamie Craane said...

Hi Halcon,

I think the problem is with the Kinect for Xbox. Do you have the possibility to try the Kinect for Windows device?

I also did not got the Kinect for Xbox working with my setup.


Slaymantis said...

I was unable to get 1.6 running on my macbook pro using vwmware. It sees the kinect but when i run the examples I only see a single frame from the camera and no movement. Its like the camera is just stuck.
Same issue with the 3d depth data.
The audio does however work perfectly

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