Multi Kinect v2

The R&D below has been migrated into:
Brekel Body v3
PointCloud v3

Some screenshot of Multi-Kinectv2 Calibrator pre-alpha that we developed at & for the Microsoft Hackathon in Amsterdam.

Showing 3 sensors (more if you have more sensors & machines) calibrated in less than a second.

Unfortunately we couldn’t port our C++ skeletal streaming into Unity C# and finish a game concept in time, but still had lotsa fun!!


Note this is highly experimental internal pre-alpha code and not available for public testing as of yet.

However my intention is to develop this further into an add-on module for the Brekel apps for Kinect v2 in the future.





Sunday, September 7th, 2014 Kinect

72 Comments to Multi Kinect v2

  • Dino says:

    This project is still very interesting !
    Have you any news ?

  • Marl says:

    Hi Brekel,
    Have u finished this project? I wonder to know, how can you find the correct correspondence between different camera to control the 3D model in 360 degree? (Because Kinect always assume that the user is face forward to the camera, so it only can work in 180 degree!,Left-Right hand problem!).

  • Çağrı Başkan says:

    Hi, is there any news about brekel multi sensor skeletal fusion!

  • Rafael says:

    Hi, I’m buying the kinect package probody and proface, but I’m interested in multi sensor too
    I wonder if there is any forecast to complete this program, or if there is already a test version compatible with pro body.

  • Ramprasad says:

    Well brekel I hop to get multi Minecraft pro body v2 is a upcoming motion capture solution best of luck

  • Sriharsha says:

    Hello I am working on the multi Kinectv2 sensors to track the human body. As we have occlusions using single Kinect Camera, we are trying to form one skeleton data by using skeleton data from multiple kinect cameras.

    I am facing the problem of synchronization of the data frames from the multiple cameras.

    One more problem is with initialization of the kinect, multiple kinects are initialised at different times (a Kinect starts data collection of the skeleton only when it recognize a human skelton infront of it) so I could not figure out how to make synchronisation between the cameras to fuse the data from multiple cameras.

    • Jack song says:


      I am also working on the multi Kinect v2 sensors to track the human body. But I face a lot of problem because I am a student and just being to do it.I am wondering if you could gei me your code? Just for study.Thank you!

  • siriusye says:

    Hi Brekel

    We are using multiple kinect v2 for a surface capture system. We are using checkerboard to calibrate the whole system. However, we notice that the calibration never be perfect. We are considering to use a object(a ball or a Cylinder) to calibrate the system. Could I ask what kind of calibration object you used? Could I have some advice about how to calibrate multiple kinect v2? Thanks very much!!

    • brekel says:

      Checkerboards work reasonably well for intrinsics calculation but don’t provide a lot of information for extrinsics calibration. You may want to look into using other patterns, for example ones that also provide info about which way they’re pointing.

      • Sriharsha says:

        Hello I am working on the multi Kinectv2 sensors to track the human body. As we have occlusions using single Kinect Camera, we are trying to form one skeleton data by using skeleton data from multiple kinect cameras.

        I am facing the problem of synchronization of the data frames from the multiple cameras.

        One more problem is with initialization of the kinect, multiple kinects are initialised at different times (a Kinect starts data collection of the skeleton only when it recognize a human skelton infront of it) so I could not figure out how to make synchronisation between the cameras to fuse the data from multiple cameras.

  • Vik says:

    Hi Brekel,

    I’m quite interested in doing mocap with more than 1 kinect sensor (possibly v2) and I’ve been reading about noise due to mutual interference of the sensors.

    An in-depth and specific study for both v1 and v2 kinect versions is “Kinect Range Sensing: Structured-Light versus Time-of-Flight Kinect” which can be found here

    According to it v2 is much more sensitive to reciprocal induced noise than v1 and quoting it from page 30 “The Kinect ToF camera (v2) shows low interference for the majority of the frames (RMSE: < 5mm), but extreme interference errors for some 25% of the frames (RMSE up to 19.3mm) that occur in a sequence which has a nearly constant repetition rate. This behavior is most likely due to the asynchronous operation of the two devices".

    Did you experience noise due to mutual interference of the sensors?
    Please describe your experience with noise and the way you coped with it.

    Thanks very much and keep up with the good job.

    • brekel says:

      Thanks for the link to that paper, hadn’t seen it yet but will definitely study it 🙂

      Yes there certainly can be interference with Kinect v1 and v2, and both are different in nature.

      With v1 you generally get noise on parts where there is overlap, the noise will be there all the time and can be quite severe to the point where data becomes unusable.
      This is due to the sensor working by projecting a pattern of dots and analyzing how it distorts in space, multiple devices will confuse each other’s pattern essentially.

      There was a paper showing how to reduce the noise by adding vibrating motors at different speeds to each sensor but I’ve never been able to get stable results with that myself.

      The v2 works with about 300 light pulses per second which are also extremely short.
      There is a small chance that multiple devices will send a pulse at the same time and this will be perceived as an IR image that is too bright, resulting in a shift in Z in the depth signal.

      In practice this only happens on occasions and phases in and out, I haven’t done measurements but in severe cases the error seems to be in the range of up to 5-10 cm or so.
      It may be happening less when devices have warmed up but I’m not 100% sure.

      I’m not at a point yet where I can give a definitive answer on how bad the data is when actually using pointclouds/skeletons but it seems more managble and happening less often than the v1. And there may be some ways (at least theoretically )to compensate.

      On a side note the v2 sensor’s video and IR streams also allow for easier intrinsic/extrinsic calibration of multiple devices.

      • Vik says:

        Thanks for sharing your insights/observations.

        I read a post where a guy was reporting a reduction of the interference after 20 minutes warming up of the v2 devices.
        Unfortunately he reported too, in a new post, that after a bit the interference pattern seemed to recur (wonder if the sensor cooled down due to fan operation or interference just due to a random temporal pattern unrelated to sensor temperature).

        I also read another post where people were speculating about possible randomic change of the 2 modulating frequencies (around 80Mhz) used for phase detection and wavelength period discrimination (such a frequency change being an autonomous sensor attempt to solve potential ambient light and dynamic range issues) and regarding it as a possibile cause of the temporal interference pattern recursion.

        Assuming, as it seems, that there is no external way to synchronize multiple devices and alter the modulating frequencies to avoid mutual interference: perhaps, using the HD RGB camera included, a Visual Hull check and constrain of the point-cloud may be used as compensation for too severe occasional distortions (up to 20 cm in the worst case according to that paper) due to randomic light interferences among sensors, even though such a small number of sensors (2 or 3 in the sensor emitters/receivers overlapping lines of sight) might imply a too coarse visual hull reconstruction rendering it close to useless.

        What do you think about it?

        • brekel says:

          I haven’t gone into trying to compensate yet, too much other work to do with calibration and skeleton data fusion first.

          You may be able to do some detection in the 2D IR image based on intensities and previous frames and compensate the depth values.

  • Archangel35757 says:

    Any recent updates on the multi-Kinect setup?

  • Vchmiele says:

    I am wondering if you will allow for multiple Kinect V1s to be used as well? Since most computers can’t handle multiple Kinect V2s. This would be useful for users that want 360 degree data using one computer.


  • Archangel35757 says:

    This multi-Kinect2 fusion is awesome! You are certainly a programming wizard! Do you have any updates on the status of this project… I would definitely purchase 2 more laptops ( 3 total & the Kinects to be a beta tester for you in a 3-Kinect setup ).

    So you say this has a range of about 4.5m (or 15 feet) so in a 3-Kinect2 setup the largest room “cube” the sensors could capture data for would be 15 feet x 15 feet x 15 feet ??? Just curious. The 3 Kinects would let you turn-around, etc.?

    I definitely plan to purchase a Kinect and your software for my laptop.

    Keep up the awesome work!!!

    • brekel says:

      The last couple of months life (the not so pleasant aspects) and contract work got in the way of serious dedicated development time.
      Fortunately I’ve recently started picking things up again and am making progress.

      It’s still too early to release any more info but I’m definitely looking at opening a beta for existing license owners once the needed features are in a usable state.

  • Hoi Jasper,

    ik ben van plan Brekel Pro Body te kopen, maar wil 2 kinects (nieuwe versie) gebruiken. Is daar al support voor in Pro Body?

    Dank voor de reply..

    Groet Jasper

    • brekel says:

      Op het moment is deze add-on nog in experimentele pre-alpha fase en nog niet beschikbaar.

      Je kan wel de software meerdere malen runnen en data van meerdere sensoren tegelijk capturen, maar je zult dit dan zelf moeten combineren in je favouriete 3D pakket.

      Houd er rekening mee dat je 1 machine per Kinect v2 sensor nodig hebt in alle gevallen vanwege de hoge bandbreedte.

  • Terry says:

    Can i link this into unreal 4 engine?

  • mp says:

    Any updates about multi-kinect support with Pro body v2?

    • brekel says:

      All my time has gone into Pro Face v2 lately, so no new announcement on the multi-sensor stuff just yet. Stay tuned.

      • Pete says:

        Now the Pro face V2 is out. Are you going to be focusing on Multi Kinect v2? because this looks like it could be extremely useful…

        • vince says:

          Yeah i agree ! Multi kinect would be extremely helpfull and i woud use it for sure !! When will it be released ?

  • Jon Sanchez says:

    Looks Awesome cant wait!

  • friitygreen says:

    I have a workstation with 3/multi separate usb3 bus.
    Will multikinectv2 work with no limitation?

  • 123 says:

    is this going to be a separate software from pro body2 ?? or just upgrade version. Is there going to be any discount if I have pro body 2??

  • Hi
    I`ll be very interested to test it as soon as is available.

  • Greg Downing says:

    If you are doing a private beta I am a current customer and would like to be considered.

    • brekel says:

      At the moment it’s still a highly experimental internal pre-alpha project, once it’s ready for beta testing I’ll announce it on this site and social media streams.

  • […] 該作者也有Demo了多個Kinect sensor的測試,之後應該也會推出相關應用。 […]

  • tim says:

    dose the multi and probody v2 work with kinect v1 ?

    • brekel says:

      The v2 apps are specifically designed for the v2 sensors only (Kinect for Windows v2 and Kinect for XBox One)
      The v1 apps remain available for the v1 sensors (Kinect for Windows v1 and Kinect for XBox360)

      The experimental multi-sensor support is also just for the v2.

      In fact the v1 sensors use a very different way of measuring depth and overlapping multiple sensors generates a lot of noise.

      The increased resolution of the v2 sensor is also needed for accurately (and quickly) aligning them into one coherent coordinate system.

  • Iwan Peter says:

    Very interesting indeed

    I know it’s very early days yet, but I do have a couple questions:
    Would your system still be running real-time?
    How large is the capture volume if you set up multiple kinects?

    I’ll definitely keep an eye on this!



    • brekel says:

      Yes this can still run in realtime on multiple networked machines.

      Streaming skeleton data is light and so is fusing them.

      Streaming pointcloud data is too heavy to do at full resolution in 30fps (yes I do compress them) but for visualization purposes they can be downsampled in both space & time.
      But each machine can receive the calibration data and then record on it’s own at full quality.

      The size of the capture volume depends entirely on the amount of sensors and their overlap.
      Given that data becomes too noisy at about 4.5m there are limitations though.

  • Hello Brekel,

    impressive setup you got there. I am womdering how you got three kinects connected to a single machine, are they all recording in realtime at once?

    Microsoft usually states that the data of one Kimect already saturates the USB bus, so I would be very interested to learn how you pulled this off.

    What are your plans with this software, will this be published and if sp, when and where and at what cost?

    Do you got some more media than just these three screenshots?

    Thanks for your answers, this looks really interesting,

    C. Leske

    • brekel says:

      This is running on multiple machines, as MS states one sensor per machine.

      Since it’s highly experimental internal ore-alpha code it’s too soon too answer questions regarding release, price etc.

      However I do intend to devote more development time on it once the single-sensor beta apps reach maturity.
      So keep an eye on this site and social media.

  • Johnny Del Valle says:

    Hello i’m a student of programming and i like so much this class of software because i want to do a mocap with 3 kinects and your software can do it please, if you release your software for free use i want to try

  • ht says:

    OIC.Thx brekel.

  • ht says:

    Sir brekel.
    have simple question
    .3kinect on 3PC
    but [Motionbuilder] launch on 1PC.
    CAN I us build Multi kinect system on Motionbuilder ?

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