Technology is an interesting thing. It took mankind 10,000 years to invent the supercomputer, and in the 50 years since the digital age has completely changed the world. So with technology picking up speed at an incredible pace, it was no surprise to find that less than a week after Microsoft's newest game-changer Kinect was released to the public, its technology had already been hacked. Now a few more videos reveal just how much can be done with the device, both technically and creatively.
Kinect is far more than just a camera or microphone, and the technology at work has been developed by a hard-working team at Microsoft which, like it or not, must now watch their technology be twisted and re-purposed by a world full of computer geniuses. The way the Kinect works makes it different from other camera or infrared devices, and the programming already at work within the device has potential when it comes to Minority Report-like manipulation of a digital interface.
Electronics manufacturer Evoluce- who are giving Microsoft's Surface some serious competition with their own touch-screen table- have released video of their own experiment, combining the Kinect with the Windows 7 operating system.
So have a look at how Kinect might one day be used to control not just your Xbox, but your desktop PC as well:
It may not be the most mind-blowing of demonstrations, but a touch interface being achieved without the need for touch might be a giant leap forward. The Microsoft Surface will set adopters back thousands of dollars, but what if that same manipulation can be achieved with a device that is far less expensive? While sophisticated ideas can come out of the independent space, it's interesting to think of substantial technology firms tinkering with Kinect as well.
Technology would be nothing without a dose of creativity to bring it to life, and the minds at Design I/O have taken the successful hacks of others and formed their own vision of what Kinect might be used for. Their dream: a giant bird puppet. The idea is sure to surprise you, but take a look at their demonstration in action:
Given how many Kinects have already been sold, this is sure to be just the beginning of an entire wave of creative inventions and new ways of interacting with digital media. While the moral aspects of placing a ransom on Microsoft's technology are troublesome, the damage has already been done. Hopefully now the result of delivering the Kinect to the masses will result in truly innovative and inspired creations.
Which of the many Kinect hacks have most surprised or impressed you? There are many to choose from, and it would seem that the device's father Kudo Tsunoda's notion of the Kinect continuing to evolve over time is already coming true. It's already transformed from a simple machine to a fully-grown bird in less than a month, so who knows just how much the Microsoft Kinect still has to show.