Thursday, March 24, 2011

Migrated to Blogger

After several years of hosting my own Wordpress, I have decided to move it to the cloud.  Working for a SaaS (Software as a Service) company has grown on me quite a bit and am looking to move more of the services I host as well (Asterisk, Misterhouse, Apache, Gallery2, etc)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Connect Microsoft Kinect to Ubuntu (Mouse Control)

Just purchased a used Microsoft Kinect on Ebay for $75 in hopes of integrating this as a robotic vision device. In the mean time, I got it hooked up to Ubuntu for a sort of "Minority Report" Mouse Control.

Here is what I did to get it installed with Ubuntu Meerkat 10.10:
1.  Add the PPA for Freenect from
2. Install the following:
$ sudo apt-get install freenect libncurses5-dev libglut3-dev libX11-dev libxtst-dev libxmu-dev cmake git
3. Plug in Kinect to usb port on machine (unplug/replug if it already was)
4. Test the installation
$ freenect-glview
5. Should see a depth / video feed appear on the screen confirming the usb driver works

6. To get mouse cursor working (from
$ mkdir ~/kinect
$ cd ~/kinect
$ git clone
$ cd ~/kinect/Kinect-Mouse
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..
$ make
7. Run mouse client
$ ./kmouse
8. Enjoy mouse cursor control.

*Notes: The mouse control only works at a certain depth range. The video window will show whatever is "in-range" by highlighting it in red. To "click" you need to stop moving briefly and it will auto left-click.

As much as you would like to wave your open hands in the air to recreate Tom Cruise in the movie, I find that just using a single finger tip in range is usually the best method of control. :)