Kinect: ready-to-hack gadgetry

Less than two weeks after the mainstream media hailed the Xbox Kinect as the Wii-killer, the picture is looking more complicated for Microsoft’s controller-less motion-capture controller. Sales data, while vague, looks good, but questions about build quality, race-based facial recognition problems, and lack of suitability for rec rooms smaller than the one Bill Gates’ house, have marred the rollout. But the ease with which the Microsoft Kinect can be torn down—and the familiarity of the software driving it—has quickly proven a feature and not a bug for hackers. Open-source camera drivers for the Kinect were available for download barely a week after the release of the device; now, UC-David researcher Oliver Kreylos has created a way to feed the 3D data Kinect sees back to his display to create an uncanny, beautifully broken 3-dimensional rendering system. Hacking commercial gadgets is nothing new of course; but the pace at which they appear, as well as the appeal they generate, is something to watch. And with a Google engineer offering prizes for inventive Kinect hacks, the best is yet to come.

[via Engadget]

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