Kinect Unleashed – Not Just For XBox Anymore

While Microsoft denies that the Xbox has been hacked, pure semantics I tell you, the new Kinect system has been unleashed for uses other than the ones planned by the giant of the redwoods.

Adafruit Industries offered a $3,000 prize which was collected by “Hector” for completing the task.  The hacking was important enough to get noticed on CNN.com.

Now a Google software engineer is offering two different $1,000 rewards for: writing the coolest “open-sourced” program for the Kinect, and for doing the most to make Kinect easy to use (via TGDaily.)

An open Kinect system, given the power of its motion capture, could make for a wide range of uses.  Personally, I was saddened that I didn’t have an Xbox (I have a PS3 and a Wii) to try Kinect out when I details about the product came out, but these new hacks for the Kinect give me hope.  Using Kinect and a computer or web-enabled TV could open up tons of possibilities for home use beyond gaming.

A Kinect-enabled house could allow ubiquitous control of anything within range, though I’m thinking most of these will be for hardcore modders.  A more likely result would be that Xbox would see the possibilities from the mod community and co-opt those uses into the official software.

On the AR game front, assuming the tools created were easiest enough to use, we could see some creative home grown games that utilize the Kinect.  However, the price of a Kinect sensor is pretty steep to play these types of games, especially when people are becoming used to the cheap prices for app games, so I doubt we’ll see much more than research projects.  One can hope, though.

One Response

  1. Given that microsoft is actualy profiting from the sale of Kinect’s, it wouldn’t supprise me if they release a PC version themselves at some point.
    I mean, $150 + Xbox360 is just too much to get the market the (current) games seem to be aiming for. I think its a big experiment for microsoft, and not designed to be a big success however much they market it now.

    The potential use’s of the device is just mind boggleing. Even on a basic level, it could trivaly be used to emulate a stylus controll with any pen. Perfect for laptops or for current Wacom user’s not wanting to carry a large pad with them.

    3D Modelers, like me, on the other hand would find it massively usefull to capture referance point clouds we could then model around.
    This tech has just begun, and (as normal) its the hackers and homebrewers leading the way.

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