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How to Use an Xbox 360 Kinect as a Webcam

How to Use an Xbox 360 Kinect as a Webcam

The Xbox 360 Kinect was a project created by Microsoft over ten years ago. Microsoft launched Kinect as a virtual reality system for the Xbox 360, but its success as a mechanism was short-lived. The now-discontinued Kinect is largely unusable, save for being used as a webcam. So how do you use the Kinect as a webcam for Windows PC?

You can use the Kinect as a webcam for your PC by downloading the Kinect for Windows SDK and installing it. Then download KinectCam from the Microsoft Store, and start the program. Finally, use a USB cable to connect to your computer, and start using the Kinect as a webcam. 

To learn about this process, keep reading through our article. We will provide you with information on each step to get the most out of your Kinect. So keep going through this article to gain insight into the Kinect and what it can do.

Connecting the Kinect to Your PC

When connecting the Kinect as a webcam, the steps you need to follow are broken down into smaller steps to make them easier to follow.

Install the SDK

First things first, you will have to download the SDK for Kinect. To do this, you have to follow these steps: 

  1. Open up a web browser of your choice and the following link:
  2. On the top-right, click on the ‘Search’ button. 
  3. Type in ‘Kinect SDK’ and click to search.
  4. Click the ‘Kinect for Windows SDK from Microsoft Research’ result.
  5. If you can’t find the link, click on this link.
  6. Select the option ‘Download’ to get started. 
  7. Install the SDK file to your computer, following the steps you are prompted to complete.
Photo: Screenshot of the download page from Microsoft

Download KinectCam

Next up, you need to download the KinectCam software. Here’s how:

  1. In your web browser, search for ‘KinectCam’ download.
  2. Find the most reliable link to download the software.
  3. Once downloaded, unzip the contents to have all of the files. 
  4. Open up your C: drive and your KinectCam folder.
  5. Drag the file into your C: drive. 

Create A Command

In this step, you will need to create a command. This is how you do it:

  1. Press the Start button on the left-most side of your taskbar.
  2. Type in ‘Command Prompt.’ When the result shows up, right-click it and select ‘Run As Administrator.’
  3. In the command prompt, enter the following: cd “C:”
  4. Press down on Enter. 
  5. Next type, c:\windows\system32\regsvr32.exe and click Enter. 

Connect the USB

Finally, you will need to connect the Kinect to your Windows PC. For this, you need a USB cableCreating this connection completes the process. Because of this, you can now use the Kinect as a webcam, which will be an option when you use a webcam-supported program. 

How Effective Is Kinect As A Webcam?

Microsoft did not build the Kinect to be a webcam, but it sure can deliver when it comes to video and audio quality. The device has a resolution of 1080p and offers an HD video service. It also has an excellent microphone that is well suited to a webcam. You can use the webcam for many things, including meetings, conferences, and even for streaming purposes. 

What Was The Kinect Used For?

Kinect, by Microsoft, was an add-on to the Xbox gaming experience. The primary function carried out by the Kinect was to be a motion sensor. Its powerful software allowed users to interact with the device using natural means, such as speaking or moving, rather than the traditional controller. Many tech enthusiasts argue that the software was far ahead of its time. 

Some of the significant aspects of a Kinect was that it was able to recognize faces and voices. This feature allowed the software to identify players through facial recognition systems. Its camera could understand the information in three dimensions and thus be able to track the player in a three-dimensional way as well. Additionally, the software could track movements made by the players within the game. 

Interestingly, the world of technology did not restrict the Kinect’s impact to just playing games. Technology derived from this gaming tool has been applied in various ways to the world around us. For example, in the area of health technology, Kinect’s software was helpful in developing telehealth services, digital signage, and much more. 

Has Kinect been discontinued?

As of 2017, Kinect is no longer being sold or supported by Microsoft. Although the product is no longer available, you could still theoretically use it with some Kinect-enabled games. However, some tech enthusiasts have been able to use their Kinect for other functions. 

These uses include a webcam (as mentioned above) or switching it into a voice command device. However, its use in voice command is limited to simplistic tasks and not complicated questions you can ask Siri, Cortana, or the Amazon Echo devices.  

What Caused Kinect To Be Discontinued?

The nail in the coffin for the Kinect came when Microsoft launched the Kinect V2. The company made a decision to create a bundle with the Xbox One and the Kinect V2. The immediate ripple effect of this was that the price of the bundle increased. 

This decision affected sales of the Xbox One, and Microsoft could only reverse the harm by removing the Kinect. Fewer people were interested in Kinect as a result of this, which meant they were less likely to use the product. Eventually, Microsoft conceded and discontinued the service altogether.


Although the Kinect has been discontinued by Microsoft, its applications and impact remain. For fans of the device, it is still a powerful device that can be applied in various ways. Its use as a webcam can be quite beneficial, especially if you have one sitting around at home, not being used at all. Or, if you’re inventive enough, you can convert it to a voice command system for your Windows PC.