Earlier this summer I picked up a freelance Kinect gig. The client was pretty adamant about using the official Kinect SDK from Microsoft. The SDK is only available for Windows and as a Mac user, I had to make the decision wether or not to purchase a new Windows machine, try a virtual machine solution or use Bootcamp.
Purchasing a dedicated Windows box was the least risky, but the thought of having two computers around was not that appealing. Add to that the fact that the hardware specs on most consumer PC laptops are pretty limited compared to a the Mac and it is becomes harder to make an argument in favor of making the new purchase.
Knowing that the Kinect SDK required quite a large number of dependencies including both drivers and frameworks and that it requires considerable integration with actual hardware, the virtual machine option seemed pretty uncertain.
The last option, partitioning my disk and running Windows via Bootcamp became the most desirable solution. Still for many of the same concerns as running a virtual machine, I was certain that all of the drivers and frameworks would play nicely with Windows running on my Mac.
Just for clarity, here are my laptop specs:
Unibody Mac Book Pro
2.2 GHz Intel Core i7
8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 Ram
128 GB Solid State HD
I ultimately ended up using Cinder and the KinectSDK block written by my friend Stephen Schieberl and documented here: http://forum.libcinder.org/topic/kinect-sdk-block and here: http://www.bantherewind.com/kinect-sdk-block-for-cinder.
The point of this article is to broadcast that it is not only possible to run the Kinect SDK on a Mac but that it works very well. I won’t go into detail about the installation process. Essentially you need to install Windows and then all of the dependencies for the SDK which are documented on the Kinect SDK website.
If you are running into problems, feel free to leave a question in the comments section or e-mail me personally.