Kinect hacking has become quite the passtime for those with either a serious interest in the technology or too much time on their hands. Regardless of their reasons, soon it will become much easier to develop your own programs for the device as Microsoft has announced that the Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit will be available at some point this spring.
As was stated on Microsoft’s official blog, this gives homebrew Kinect enthusiasts access to the previously-unhacked audio drivers and direct control of the Kinect sensor. This continues Microsoft’s trend of extending a hand of friendship towards hackers in recent months, when they first offered t-shirts and free phones to anyone who hacked a Windows Phone 7 device.
From the Microsoft Blog:
Supporting this community and enabling creativity around natural user interfaces (NUI) is important to us, and our hope is that this SDK will ignite further creativity in an already vibrant ecosystem of enthusiasts. We are very excited by this announcement. Not only does it showcase our investment in this important technology trend, but it ensures that people have the tools they desire to revolutionize how people interact with technology.
I have seen some truly amazing things being done in the Kinect Homebrew community, from virtual reality games to a guy playing Space Invaders with his arms — surely a workout for anyone who would attempt such a thing. I’m happy to see Microsoft decide to support these kinds of hacks, as opposed to, say, Apple or Sony.