Nathan Viniconis, humble Python programmer and Kinect enthusiast, set out to accomplish one task: to take a snapshot from a Kinect and place that into Minecraft. More technically, he aimed to transform the photo into a MineCraft save file by using depth and color information "to approximate the position and types of blocks to best represent the 3D point cloud in MineCraft." The results speak for themselves.
Nathan explains his process in full detail in his web post, and worth noting is the reported duration of his experiment. He worked on this project from December 26, 2010, to January 9, 2011. That's merely 15 days of tinkering with the Kinect and Minecraft to produce this result. Some may venture to say much less than that, given the holidays and post-holiday recovery periods.
This is not the first coupling of Kinect and Minecraft. Game Rant covered Kinect controlling Minecraft play earlier this month. The Kinect exploits are not exclusive to Minecraft, either. Kinect exploitation seems limited only by one's imagination.
Game Rant reported that one Japanese gamer was able to reenact his superhero fantasies. While Microsoft condemns any "sexploitation" of Kinect, any gamers willing to bring their Minority Report visions to life are unofficially condoned. In fact, hackers are setting such a pace that Microsoft has had to play catch up by adding more Kinect features like browsing media services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix.
While such implementations of Kinect are almost expected of Microsoft, one man's quick and ingenious efforts are very hard to ignore. For those wanting to see a before and after of Nathan's Minecraft transplant:
I believe these Kinect hacks are giving Microsoft more positive media than any current software reviews. I've been unimpressed, but my curiosity is slowly getting the better of me. While I will never begin to understand the intricacies behind the coding involved, I wouldn't mind experiencing the final product in my living room... well, the hypothetical large living room I will have in a few months, where square footage is easier to come by. My hat's off to you, hackers! Microsoft, lower the Kinect price point and show me some firmware updates or more Child of Eden, and I am yours.
Ranters, what do you think of this latest Kinect / Minecraft pairing? Is this a project you'd be willing to tackle yourself?