Hacked Kinect does multitouch, Minority Report just around the corner


The open source Kinect driver was just released yesterday and we’re already seeing some pretty impressive hacks for the Xbox 360 accessory.  Florian Ectler used the open source Kinect driver to turn the Kinect into a gesture-based multi-touch control device, above.  As you can see, the hacked Kinect identifies hand gestures, which are then used to manipulate photos.  Awesome.

Ectler’s interface gave us creepy flashbacks to the futuristic interface used by Tom Cruise in Minority Report.  As you can see in the clip below, Cruise tosses windows back and forth between screens with hand gestures.  That’s not too far off from what Ectler’s interface provides.  An unlike Minority Report, Ectler’s solution doesn’t require users to wear dorky three-fingered gloves


Open source Kinect camera driver now available for download

By Paul Miller posted Nov 10th 2010 12:50PM

This is a little confusing, but it looks like there’s another Kinect driver out in the wild, and this one is actually available for download. The folks at NUI Group, who posted results first, are working on an SDK and Windows driver for all the capabilities of the device, which they plan to release as open source once their $10k donation fund is filled up. Meanwhile, hacker Hector Martin has performed a quick and dirty hack of his own (three hours into the European launch, no less) and has released his results and code into the wild. Sure, pulling data from the IR and RGB cameras and displaying it is a lot different than actually making sense of it, but if you’re just looking for a way to plug your Kinect into your computer and squeeze some fun visuals out of it (and you’re smart enough to deal with some pretty raw code), it looks like Hector is your man of the hour. Peep his video proof after the break.


Kinect hacked to show off how Windows 8 multitouch controls may work

Hackers are hard at work ripping apart Microsoft’s controller-less Xbox 360 accessory. Recent developments have shown off Minority Report style multitouch control and the Kinect running on Mac OS X.

Firstly, Florian Echtler has taken the recently created open source camera driver and created his own multitouch UI “TISCH” software library. Echtler’s software shows off Minority Report style control for the Kinect running on a Linux distribution. The software is cross platform according to the developer page.

The second piece of Kinect hacking news comes in the form of the Mac. Theo Watson has released an OS X port of libfreenect, a library that can run Kinect’s output inside of OS X. Watson released a video demonstrating the Kinect running in Apple’s OS X operating system.

Kinect hacking is only at the very early stages but what’s clear is hackers are demonstrating the potential of the technology for use on PCs. Microsoft recently purchased 3D gesture experts Canesta. Microsoft’s investment in this technology is likely to see them focus heavily on bringing gesture based control to Windows 8. Earlier this year a number of Windows 8 product slides leaked from a HP employee that pointed towards some new product features. Kinect integration, a Windows App Store and fast boot were all promised. Microsoft previously purchased 3DV systems, who also make gesture recognition technology. With the push for this technology in gaming, it’s only natural that Microsoft would also want to port this to Windows.

With Windows 8 approximately two years away from general availability, Microsoft has the time to avoid any potential intellectual property issues and secure a number of key software patents. Canesta has secured 44 patents related to gesture control. Microsoft will likely port a number of improvements to Kinect during this time too. If Microsoft can perfect the technology and control most of the patents then it’s a strong market that the software giant will be dominant in. Hackers will only help refine certain usage scenarios and ideas for the future of the technology.

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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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