Kinect Technical Information

18 million units of the Kinect sensor had been shipped by January 2012. Having sold 8 million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect has claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device". (

  • The main reference page for Microsoft Kinect for Windows is
  • FAQs and news are found here:
  • Additional information and links are summarized on this page.
  • Sensor Components and Specifications

    • Viewing angle: 43° vertical by 57° horizontal field of view
    • Vertical tilt range: ±27°
    • Frame rate (depth and color stream): 30 frames per second (FPS)
    • Audio format: 16-kHz, 24-bit mono pulse code modulation (PCM)
    • Audio input characteristics: A four-microphone array with 24-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) and Kinect-resident signal processing including acoustic echo cancellation and noise suppression
    • Resolution of the color and depth streams are dependent on the configured frame rate.

    System Requirements

    • Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7 or Windows 8 Developer Preview (desktop applications only).
    • 32 bit (x86) or 64 bit (x64) processor
    • Dual-core 2.66-GHz or faster processor
    • Dedicated USB 2.0 bus
    • 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c
    • DirectX End-User Runtimes (June 2010)
    • A Microsoft Kinect for Windows Sensor

    If your Windows 7 edition is Windows 7 N or Windows 7 KN, you must install the Media Feature Pack which is required by the Kinect for Windows runtime. You cannot run applications in a virtual machine, because the Kinect drivers and this SDK must be installed on the computer that is running the application.

    Setting up a Sensor

    • Place the sensor on a stable surface in a location where it will not fall or be struck during use.
    • Do not place the Kinect on or in front of a speaker or on a surface that vibrates or makes noise.
    • Keep the Kinect out of direct sunlight.
    • Use the Kinect within its specified operating temperature range of 41 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 35 degrees Celsius). If the sensor is exposed to an environment outside of its prescribed temperature range, turn it off and allow the temperature to stabilize within the specified range before you use the sensor again.
    • Do not tilt a Kinect on its base. Manually tilting the Kinect can damage the sensor.

    Body Tracking

    Sensor Placement

    • The sensor should be positioned 2 – 6 feet (0.6 – 1.8 m) off the floor, with nothing between you and the sensor. See Kinect sensor setup for more information.
    • Make sure the sensor is not too far back on the shelf and that there is nothing in front of the sensor (for example, make sure the sensor is not positioned behind glass).
    • Make sure nothing is preventing the sensor from automatically tilting up or down.
    • The light on the sensor should be green, which means the sensor is ready to go.

    User considerations

    • Users need to be at least 40 inches tall (1 m).
    • Face the sensor and make sure nothing is covering your face, such as a hat, your hair, or reflective glasses.
    • Try to avoid wearing baggy clothing.
    • Some black clothing dyes may absorb infrared light, making it difficult for Kinect to track you accurately.

    Clear space

    • Clear the area between the sensor and the user.
    • Stand back 6 feet (1.8 m) for regular mode.
    • Near Mode sees objects between 40 centimeters and 3m.
    • Seated Tracking facilitates tracking users sitting down or standing up when the lower body is not visible. This mode focuses on tracking the upper body 10 joints (head, shoulders, arms).

    Lighting Tips

    • Make sure your room has enough light so that your face is clearly visible and evenly lit. Try to minimize side or back lighting, especially from a window.
    • For best tracking results avoid positioning the sensor or player in direct sunlight.
    • Some lighting conditions can make it hard for Kinect to identify you or track your movements.
    • Make sure the room has bright, even lighting. Incandescent, fluorescent, and natural lighting are all good. Really bright light is bad, and do not point an intense or constant light source at the camera.
    • The depth sensor reads depth information from reflected light. Objects that are highly reflective (mirrors and shiny metal) or highly absorptive (fluffy and/or dark materials) may not be registered by the depth sensor as successfully as other objects.
    • Try to minimize side or back lighting, especially from a window.
    • Illuminate users from the front, as if you were taking a picture of them.
    • Avoid positioning either users or the sensor in direct sunlight.

    Troubleshooting the Kinect sensor

    Error messages: "Device not supported" or "No Kinect device found"

    If you get either of these errors, you’re probably using a Kinect for Xbox 360 sensor, not the new Kinect for Windows sensor. Make sure that your sensor is Kinect for Windows: If it says "Xbox 360" on the front, it’s Kinect for Xbox 360, not Kinect for Windows.

    Poor response or performance

    If your Kinect for Windows sensor is responding or performing poorly, you may have too many other devices connected to your computer’s USB ports. Disconnect the other devices and try the Kinect sensor again. If you’ve already disconnected the other devices, try connecting your Kinect sensor to a different USB port. If you’re using a USB hub, disconnect it, and connect the Kinect for Windows sensor directly to your computer.

    Make sure your computer has the latest operating system updates and hardware drivers. To get these updates, go to Windows Update.

    Technical Details

    Color and depth-sensing lenses
    Voice microphone array
    Tilt motor for sensor adjustment

    Field of View:
    Horizontal field of view: 57 degrees
    Vertical field of view: 43 degrees
    Physical tilt range: 27 degrees
    Depth sensor range: 1.2m - 3.5m

    Data Streams:
    320x240 16-bit depth @ 30 frames/sec
    640x480 32-bit color @ 30 frames/sec
    16-kHz, 24-bit mono pulse code modulation (PCM)

    Skeletal Tracking System:
    Tracks up to 6 people, including 2 active players
    Tracks 20 joints per active player

    Audio System:
    Echo cancellation system enhances voice input
    Speech recognition in multiple languages