Microsoft Embraces Kinect Hackers

Via Fast Company, Microsoft has decided to encourage customers to “hack” the Kinect (motion-detecting hardware for the Xbox 360 video game system):

People have been hacking the Kinect since the day it went live. Microsoft initially balked at the idea, then relented, and now it’s even releasing its own software development kit (SDK) to make it easy for coders to do that legitimately.

The kit, which allows outside developers to build their own applications for using the Kinect, is for non-commercial use and is aimed at enthusiasts and academics. Anoop Gupta, a Microsoft distinguished scientist, said the company plans to release a commercial SDK at some point, which would allow companies to build applications for sale. He didn’t give a time frame for the commercial kit.

The ways that these hackers have re-purposed the Kinect are really impressive. Here’s a few examples (this video is Safe For Work, despite the unfortunate thumbnail image):

This sort of community-based experimentation is extremely valuable, both for innovating new gameplay experiences and for creating a relationship with your customers. Good for Microsoft for getting behind it. Keep it up.

Fast Company – Microsoft Legitimizes Hacking Of The Kinect

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