Yesterday we saw Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect hacked by a developer who has no intention to make the drivers open source. Today, just 3 hours after EU launch, Hector Martin of Marconsoft reversed the MS Kinect USB protocol (hacked the device) and has also released the open source Kinect driver for public use. This development is massive for not just the gaming world but the computing world in general, as the possibilities of utilizing Kinect as a motion-sensing device on any computer are endless.
In the screenshot below we can see that Kinect console is taking a real time pictures through it’s deep motion sense camera with frame detail getting logged in the terminal window.
We also have to keep in mind the lucrative $2000 bounty set by Adafruit for any person to provide them with open source drivers for Microsoft Kinect. Although the credit for the first Kinect hack for acquiring open source drivers goes to NUI member, but as he wants to keep them a secret, the bounty claimer might be Hector Martin after all.
Watch the demonstration of Kinect open source driver below on Windows 7 PC Linux desktop running KDE.
As we mentioned above, the possibilities of using Kinect’s motion sensing capabilities on computers are virtually limitless. With this development, we can soon expect ways to interact with our PCs using Kinect. Due to the drivers being open-source, any developer who wants to build upon them has the possibility to do so. Naturally, the first type of apps that come to one’s minds are PC games utilizing Kinect, from casual games to RPGs. Imagine using your gestures to flick or move cards when playing Solitaire, or playing World of Warcraft by making gestures in front of your Kinect. Furthermore, there can be apps developed utilizing this driver that can let one control the entire Windows user interface with gestures using Kinect. Now all that is left for us to do is wait and see.