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By 6 December 2010 | Categories: news

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Since the release of the Xbox Kinect, hackers and tinkerers have been writing open source software and developing new uses for this little toy. From a Minority Report style controller for Windows to a cheap 3D camera, it seems that there is no end in site for the amount of innovative uses for this gesture-based controller-less add-on for the Xbox 360. 

Usually big companies such as Microsoft do not allow the hacking and tinkering of their products but in an interview with NPR, Alex Kipman, director of incubation for Xbox, said that the company “intentionally left it open.” This opened the doors for hundreds of people around the world to see what they could come up with.
 
The art of hacking the Kinect has become so popular that in barely a month after its release a web page popped up, kinecthacks.net, where people can post their Kinect developments. Here you can find all the different uses people have figured out for the Kinects. 
 
Just a couple of these inventions include: 
 
- Hollow man, Kinect is used as optical camouflage providing a freakishly Predator-like feel.
- 3D capturing, Oliver Kreylos, one of the first people to successfully hack the Kinect, shows his 3D renderings using multiple Kinects.
- Mouse for Windows 7, the Kinects was developed to be used as a mouse in Windows 7 allowing users to control Windows with hand motions.
- Kinect for web, Fluid Interfaces group, developers of motion technology, have developed open-source software to interface with Google Chrome to control web browsers with hand motion.
- Touch Screen TV, this allows users to turn any regular television into a touch sensitive screen.
 
The hack that we’re waiting for though is a program in development to turn a regular broomstick into a full lightsaber with full sound effects and blur, just like the Star Wars movies.
 
Thanks to a couple of hackers around the world we might just have motion computing in the next year.

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