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Control of IR Illuminator modulation frequency RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I'm considering an application for Kinect 2. I will have no interest in the color camera, audio or any gesture recognition capabilities (so, RawIR only).

    Before I invest too much effort in this, I need to know whether it is possible to control the modulation frequency of the IR illuminator from software, or at least to fix it at at a single value (20MHz, say). It would also be useful to know what control is available over the depth camera exposure parameters (via the shutter engine?)

    Grateful for any help with this or pointers to the relevant documentation.

    Thanks,

    John

    Monday, June 8, 2015 3:17 PM

Answers

  • Hi John,

    You can do that through a custom firmware - some people from MIT and Microsoft Research have done it, but I'm not sure this is publicly available...

    http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/245069/chr_mpi_cvpr_15.pdf

    Ben

    Monday, June 8, 2015 6:15 PM

All replies

  • I'm not sure I was clear- I only have an interest in the depth image...

    John

    Monday, June 8, 2015 4:09 PM
  • Hi John,

    You can do that through a custom firmware - some people from MIT and Microsoft Research have done it, but I'm not sure this is publicly available...

    http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/245069/chr_mpi_cvpr_15.pdf

    Ben

    Monday, June 8, 2015 6:15 PM
  • Thanks,

    That looks like what I need. I'll try and contact the authors and see what can be done.

    John

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 8:56 AM
  • Can you let the community know if you get some interesting insights?

    Thanks,

    Ben

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015 9:23 AM
  • I e-mailed one of the authors, Shahram Izadi, who appears to be quite senior at Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK. First time, I got an out of office auto reply saying he was travelling, so I waited over a week beyond his return date and sent a polite reminder. No reply at all- not even an acknowledgement.

    Is this typical of Microsoft?

    I may try contacting the other authors. Any other ideas?

    Without this info, my idea is dead in the water.

    John

    Monday, July 6, 2015 11:52 AM
  • I must say I'm not surprised, looking at the kinect v2 EULA and several threads on this forum, it seems quite clear that Microsoft does not want to give developers access to low level functionalities.  

    You should probably have a look at other depth cameras...

    Ben

    Monday, July 6, 2015 12:18 PM
  • My concept can only work with a time of flight (TOF) camera with a modulated, rather than structured illumination. Whilst there are other TOF cameras on the market (eg Swiss Ranger from Mesa Engineering), they do not have the spatial resolution (number of pixels) to be useful in this application, beyond proof of principal. They're also very expensive !

    It's a pity that MS have this attitude as the device I'm hoping to develop would compete directly with state of the art equipment costing in the £100,000 region.( I know this because it's my day job).

    I've  offered to sign an NDA, but if they won't even talk to me, what can I do?

    John

    Monday, July 6, 2015 12:40 PM
  • Actually, the SoftKinetic DepthSense at 320x240 px looks worth a look (cheap too!)...
    Monday, July 6, 2015 1:30 PM
  • Last time I checked, PMD tech was going into the smartphone/tiny cameras market and had nothing comparable to the kinect v2 either.

    The DepthSense looks interesting, but apparently hard to source... 

    MS claims that if you were allowed access to low level features, then future low level updates in the firmware/SDK might break your implementation.

    Ben

    Monday, July 6, 2015 1:50 PM
  • John, did you ever make progress with this. I am going down the same path as you. I don't see given Kinect's current status why MS wouldn't have a problem helping the research community. Perhaps the evolution of Kinect's capabilities is somehow in conflict with internal developments with the hardware (going into HoloLens) and software processing. 

    MS please allow us access to change the firmware to control modulation and exposure times.

    Monday, January 22, 2018 2:49 PM
  • No, I'm afraid not.

    I looked elsewhere, at solutions from Texas Instruments and ESPROS, both of which have dev kits, plentiful documentation and helpful tech support.

    I don't know if attitudes at MS have changed at all, but for now I'm making good progress with the alternatives.

    John

    Monday, January 22, 2018 3:19 PM
  • Thanks, it's a shame there is such silence from MS on this.

    Are you able to say much about your application and the hardware you are using? The nice thing about the Kinect 2 is that it can be sourced very cheaply, if you know where to look. Ok, it's a pain to have a (PC) system per node, but I've got that down in price as much as I can. The USB / power adaptor availability problem is also easily solved using a hardware mod.

    Monday, January 22, 2018 4:17 PM
  • Sorry- subject to patent application at the moment...

    John

    Monday, January 22, 2018 4:21 PM
  • No worries.
    Monday, January 22, 2018 4:22 PM