Posted on March 21, 2012
After being able to control the basic features of a Kinect device (or any time-of-flight camera), the next thing many users look for is skeleton tracking. Skeleton tracking means to easily retrieve different joints of the human skeleton from depth images.
The most famous solutions (or the only ones) to do so are the Microsoft Kinect SDK or the OpenNI framework. If you are looking for a Free software solution though, you are out of luck. Microsoft’s SDK, apart from obviously being close, does not even allow a commercial use of it which is something the OpenNI framework does but this is as far as the meaning of the word “open” in OpenNI goes… You cannot adapt/improve their code nor learn from it. To solve this problem, Igalia has just created Skeltrack.
Free Software Skeleton Tracking
Skeltrack is a Free and Open Source Software library whose goal is to provide easy to use human skeleton tracking.
Skeltrack’s implementation was based on a paper by Andreas Baak but, apart from other internal differences, it doesn’t use a pose database. This means that the skeleton joints extraction is based on mathematics and heuristics, no calibration pose nor pose database is needed.
It provides an asynchronous API written in GLib, supports single user tracking (one skeleton only) and tracks up to 7 joints currently: head, shoulders, elbows and hands.