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Five impressive Kinect hacks

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Not even a month into its life and the Kinect is already proving to be an exciting new device for makers, designers, and DIY gamers. After electronics supplier Adafruit Technologies placed a $3,000 bounty on cracking the device and Héctor Martin claimed the prize, the Internet has been abuzz with demonstrations that illustrate the device’s potential. Though the best is certainly yet to come, we’ve compiled a list of the five hacks that most piqued our interest.


Personal robotics designers Willow Garage (featured video) seem to be quickly developing ways in which the Kinect can move from games to more altruistic endeavors. A robotic appendage that mimics the user’s own movements, built on open-source software and available to the general public could revolutionize the home robotics industry.


Florian Echtler’s blending of his own TISCH framework with the Kinect is a simple example of multi-touch object manipulation, but anyone who has seen Minority Report will recognize how exciting the Kinect could ultimately become in the world of user interfaces.
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In reality YouTuber yankenyon’s demonstration is simply a video of a man playing with a wooden stick, but that doesn’t matter, because what you see on that computer screen is a man taking one step further into a million fanboy’s fantasies: a lightsaber beheading of Jar Jar Binks.
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Computer scientist Oliver Kreylos demonstrates how the Kinect tracks objects and recreates a 3D space in this video. Watch how he manipulates objects and the Kinect interprets movements: Everything around you is now a controller.
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Dan Wilcox’s openFrameworks project Titty Tracker might be somewhat immature in subject matter, but it is another excellent demonstration of what can be done with the Kinect. Now it’s boobs and pasties being mapped together but as the Kinect hacking community grows, so will the level of complexity in the applications it produces.

Here’s looking to the future.

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One Response to “Five impressive Kinect hacks”

  1. avatar TM says:

    I don’t have an XBox, but I’m excited to see what they come up with. Even more excited to see what Nintendo’s response is gonna be…