Days after we revealed that hackers had taken over the camera on Microsoft’s Kinect controller, a new group of hackers have taken over the entire device so that it is used with a PC as opposed to an Xbox game console.
The BBC said that those behind the hack are keen to use the device in schools, art projects and to aid human-robot interaction.
Last week we reported that Adafruit had offered to pay $1,000 to the first person to produce control software, known as drivers, for the Kinect. The company then upped the bounty to $3,000 after Microsoft said that it did not condone the reverse-engineering of its motion controller.
The Adafruit bounty was won by hacker Hector Martin who was the first to produce drivers and make them available for others to download and improve.
The BBC said that Mr Martin got the Kinect working with a Linux laptop. Martin is still working on the Kinect’s voice capture and control system.
Microsoft said: “What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360,” it said. “The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported.
It’s also been revealed that hackers are starting to post videos of themselves using Kinect with Apple machines and as a multi-touch interface. Work is underway to produce drivers that work with Windows PCs.
In a blog entry, Adafruit said it expected to see the Kinect starting to be used in all kinds of ways rather than just for gaming. It said it could become a way to interact with robots or art installations.
A second open source Kinect contest has now also started, sponsored by Google engineer Matt Cutts. He will give $1,000 to whoever produces what he considers the coolest open source Kinect project. A separate $1,000 prize will be given to the team creating tools that make it easy to use Kinect on Linux.