The Kinect camera has been… liberated from the confines of â€œXbox-only peripheralâ€. Some clever people have made open source drivers for the Microsoft device, and they’ve made those drivers free to anyone who wants to download them. Since then, other clever people have managed to do all sorts of fancy things with the device – Geoff posted some videos on that last week, which is where the header image comes from.
Microsoft spent a fairly large chunk of cash developing Kinect so you’d expect them to get a little twitchy when people start fiddling with the peripheral. It turns out they really are quite alright with what’s happened so far, because as far as they’re concerned, Kinect has not been hacked.
According to Microsoft’s Alex Kipman: â€œHacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit on the side of the Xbox and was able to actually use them, which hasn’t happened. Or it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened.â€
This has not happened yet. All that has happened is that somebody managed to get Kinect talking to a PC. Microsoft says that they always intended this sort of thing to happen and the PC drivers that were released basically opened â€œthe USB connection, which we didn’t protect by designâ€.
Kipman also insisted that nobody would be off Microsoft’s Christmas card list if they made use of these PC drivers. This means that those enterprising individuals who first did all of this fancy stuff with Kinect will not be taken to court.
According to Shannon Loftis from Microsoft Games Studios, the people over at Microsoft were quite excited to see what Joe-public was able to do with Kinect. Is this clever PR or is Microsoft genuinely impressed that the reins to their newest piece of hardware have been handed over to anyone who wants them?
Last Updated: November 23, 2010