Body Tracking NOT FREE after January 31, 2018?

The smfl samples have both I believe.

1 Like

We’ve been looking around for complete code samples/proof of body tracking & gesture tracking (we’re an ex-Kinect group too) but no luck.

Have you reached out to Gestoos? Evidently they are the best bet for the gesture recognition generally available although some folks have reported issues: Recommendations for hand gesture tracking - #2 by wtatters

1 Like

The version of Orbbec Body Tracking (OBT) in Astra SDK v2.0.7-beta which was released in December expired February 28, 2018. (The page initially said January for a day or two but that was an error.) We will be releasing v2.0.8-beta2 this week with updated OBT expiration date as well as other fixes and new features.

The SimpleBodyViewer-SFML sample shows body tracking and in v2.0.8-beta2 it will also show hand grip detection.


You really need to be more open on how much body tracking is going to cost. My company will not touch it until we know.


I haven’t looked too deep at Gestoos… kinda worried about getting to far down the rabbit hole. Looks like they’ve extended body tracking till end of March. I suspect we’ll need to develop it completely, I’m a little hesitant about being dependent on another solution.

1 Like

Same here @mrwaynesmith – a lot of unknowns for this platform.

Below are some findings for teams exploring gesture tooling with these other firms:



  • Docs:

  • Built/maintained by a Russian firm named also known as They’ve built various sensors to bring Kinect-like gesture interaction to smartphones (ARM/Android & other embedded platforms.)

  • PLATFORM: SDK for Windows/Linux/Android, no Mac

  • USER LIMITS: Maximum 2 users tracked

  • TECHNIQUE: Blackbox/trade-secret algorithm for gesture detection

  • EVALUATION: Can download a time-restricted sdk for evaluation immediately

  • GESTURES: “There are 6 possible types of gestures: waving, swipe left, swipe right, swipe up, swipe down and push”

  • TRAIN GESTURES: Unclear if any tooling/software to train custom gestures

  • COST: $20 to $30 USD, per-device & OS

  • Orbbec & Nuitrack announced a face-recognition partnership (no word on gestures) in 2017: 3DiVi and Orbbec Partner to Launch Recognition and Tracking Software into the Next Generation

  • Sell a device called “TVico” which is evidently a rebranded Orbbec Persee.

Gestoos (non-Orbbec bundled version)

  • Registration step needed to be run for each machine (must have internet connectivity for initial registration): “If this [registration] file is present, you will not need online connection for further executions. Note that registration keys are provided in a per-machine basis, so execution of the registered programs in other machines is not allowed.”

OBT: Orbbec Bodytracking SDK

Note: At time of writing in Feb 2018, Astra SDK 2.0 has Orbbec Body Tracking integrated for Windows, Linux, and Android but not yet MacOS (still on version 0.5.0)

  • PLATFORM: Windows, Linux, Unity, no OSX yet at time of writing

  • USER LIMITS: 6 bodies

  • TECHNIQUE: Track 19 joints >> skeleton

  • EVALUATION: Download v2.0 for platform directly: Orbbec Body Tracking SDK – Orbbec

  • GESTURES: Proprietary system for hand pose detection

  • LICENSE: TBD-- email if specific licensing questions, free to try meantime

  • TRAIN GESTURES: No indication of tooling



@josh Does the above for the Orbbec Bodytracking SDK sound about right to you?

Does this use Gestoos under the hood or is that a different SDK bundle?

@vicalg2018 Thanks for putting together the information for people. Might be good in its own thread.

OBT does not use Gestoos. We have our own gesture system for the hand pose (grip) detection. The user limit is 6 bodies, though it’s difficult to get that many in view at once. For licensing we are still deciding some details, but our goals are to make it inexpensive and not a hurdle for anyone who wants or needs to use it. Please email if you have questions about the licensing.


Thanks @vicalg2018 for this assessment! We are also considering Nuitrack, right now I’m trying to develop a proof of concept (starting with simple navigation using the Orbbec Astra)… I need to justify reengineering costs before I can get the project greenlighted. I imagine whoever could make this process seamless could capture the most market share of whatever void Kinect is leaving…

1 Like

Awesome-- just updated above

Same here w/ Orbbec Astra-- I’m very weary of relying on a 3rd-parties (especially options that have a requirement to “phone home” in order to use on a new machine.)

I imagine whoever could make this process seamless could capture the most market share of whatever void Kinect is leaving…


I am agnostic when it comes to the actual hardware, the Astra Pro is an incredible low-power/low-complexity device but what matters at the end of the day is the software & development velocity

When it comes to software, there’s another option (about which we should rightly be skeptical/cautious) Microsoft’s Kinect site cryptically write: “Microsoft is working with Intel to provide an option for developers looking to transition from the Kinect for Windows platform. Microsoft will continue to provide support for the Kinect for Windows SDK via our online forums, premiere and paid technical support. As developers transition from Kinect hardware, Microsoft encourages developers to look into Intel’s RealSense depth cameras.”

Unclear what “provide an option” means but perhaps that’s a clue about migrating their visual gesture builder tool to work w/ the RealSense cameras…why not an Orbbec?

1 Like

@vicalg2018, great to talk with someone in my shoes… I initially ordered an Intel realsense camera but our lead analyst said that nuitrack/orbbec would offer the best option because of skeleton tracking. So I ordered an orbbec astra and am trying to develop a proof of concept… then I read that statement from Microsoft (which is pretty strong endorsement for the Intel camera)… Trying not to single highhandedly have to redevelop our entire product from scratch but it’s starting to seem that’s the way it’s heading… frustrated!!

Update from Intel: Migrating from Kinect & SDK integration w/ Microsoft? · Issue #1147 · IntelRealSense/librealsense · GitHub

Hello Josh,

regarding OBT, is there a plan a new version after 31 March 2018?
I’m trying now to use it with SDK 2.0.8 beta and VS2017. I have downloaded a .Net C# example from GitHub,“AstraDotNetDemo” is the name. I don’t receive any error but I don’t see any Skeletal Tracking.

When body tracking SDK expires, does it mean that all existing apps that use the API will not work?

It seems that the licence is hard coded into the SDK library at the moment - if you set your date past the end of march then the API stops working if you attempt to use the body tracker .

Well technically it just hangs on calls to the reader as in:

astra::Frame frame = astraReader.get_latest_frame();

There is currently no actual error message being generated in the API that is obvious - and no way to test that the licence has expired it would seem.


FWIW - I would suggest a close look at the nuitrack sdk - it is streets ahead in terms of tracking accuracy and has some native gesture capabilities - if you can get past the poor documentation and some current issues with the install process for windows.

The API is event based and built around a set of function callbacks - but is also heavily pointer based so can be made to work with a polling structure if required as well.

It is capable of tracking up to 6 bodies at once - I think someone suggested previously that the limit was two.

BUT the api is based on a per-user licence model.


Thanks for the info. Let me take a look at Nuitrack. :slight_smile:

Quick heads-up regarding the nuitrack SDK - I created a Cinder block (c++) which was polling the SDK for tracked skeletons. In spite of the poor documentation I got a working boxman demo going with the Astra on Windows, tracking multiple skeletons simultanously. It reported some strange joint orientations when limbs where out of view but it seemed like I could work around that (especially since at the moment I only need to track the head position of my users).

Unfortunately after testing for a longer period of time a crash occurred in a specific situation. As far as I can see, if a single user is being tracked for a longer period of time (minutes) at some point the skeleton data will freeze. As soon as that user steps out of the tracking frame the nuitrack SDK crashes and burns. I got an opencv error message, something to do with resizing an empty frame I believe, but since the SDK is closed source I figured it wasn’t worth investigating further.

Also, about 80% of the nuitrack forum posts is Russian spam. That is an accurate description of the level of support and documentation you can expect.

Edit: to be completely fair the technical API documentation isn’t too bad and can be found here

I had to abandon Orbbec for potential licensing issues and I had to abandon the Astra + nuitrack SDK because of the crash(es). All in all not a very good experience and currently forced to keep using the Kinect, which is getting harder and harder to purchase. I saw the Kinect for Windows going for $500 on Amazon recently.

I understand there is a rush to fill the gap in the market left behind by Kinect but please keep in mind you are making these products for developers. It would be so helpful for all of your customers if there is extensive and clear documentation, including example applications for each supported platform, showing off both the core SDK and the body tracking SDK.

Most importantly, like I said before the current licensing situation forces me to abandon this product and it does not give me a lot of trust in Orbbec as a serious competitor in this field. If the situation changes I might give it another try but I will be very skeptical as I feel I’ve wasted a couple days trying to find a long term solution for body tracking.

If anyone wants to give the nuitrack block a try I put it up on GitHub. I am curious to hear if any of you have different experiences.

1 Like

Did you actually make contact with the nuitrack dev team via email ? We have found them quite responsive to our questions and bug reports. And they are actively releasing updates … Have u made them aware of the issue u encountered? It’s not one we have seen during our testing