Well, that was quick. Not even being out for a full week, the Microsoft Kinect has already been hacked.The speedy hacking skills were most likely motivated by the $2,000 bounty put out by Adafruit, an open-source hardware developer. Phillip Torrone, of Adafruit, explains why they posted a cash prize for the first person to hack the Kinect with video evidence:
"It's amazing hardware that shouldn't just be locked up for Xbox 360. Its 'radar camera' being able to get video and distance as a sensor input from commodity hardware is huge."
So how did the Kinect get hacked? Take a look at the video below.
Nothing too fancy, the hack enables a computer to control the tilt functionality of Kinect's camera and it also responds when the device is handled. Even though the hack is nothing earth shattering, the lucky geek gets the cash prize and the example also shows the possibility of some interesting adjustments to the impressive technology.
Although some cool hacks could come out of the woodwork, Microsoft have spoken up regarding the interest in altering their newly released device:
"Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."
Despite Microsoft's understandable stance on modifying the Kinect, it will be very interesting to see what changes people will make to the popular new tech. The video is evidence that Kinect can be hooked up to a computer, so it becomes a safe assumption that hackers and developers will come up with applications that work with the Kinect. The speed of this hack only guarantees that we will be seeing more modifications in the very near future.
What do you think about Kinect being hacked? Should it be left alone and in Microsoft's hands, or should the full potential of the technology be exposed?