Kinect for Halloween scares and beyond

You may have heard some of what we have to say about the Xbox Kinect. It’s a pretty outstanding device for a lot of reasons, one of which is that it allows for awesome pranks like this:

A clever idea, but it might be squandering the Kinect’s potential.

But there’s something going on deeper down that makes the Kinect a truly awesome thing. And it has less to do with it being the Xbox Kinect and more to do with the way it’s being used. Those clever white-hat hackers who have been finding creative ways to use the Kinect have kind of become famous for some of their ideas.

In fact they’ve gotten so famous that Microsoft decided to give the whole thing a name (which also happens to be good for their marketing department): The Kinect Effect.

All of the scenes in this video are depictions of things that people really did.
Check out the Kinect Effect website

It’s really just because the device offers good (if rudimentary) motion tracking at a really low price. Have a listen to this while you keep reading:

Because the Kinect effectively makes motion tracking widespread, it makes it accessible to a lot of places and people which normally would have to have a less-awesome solution to their problem. And you can be one of those people if you have the drive to get into some programming. Check out the official software development kit (Microsoft’s Kinect SDK) as well as the official Kinect projects repository, good places to start if you want to see what’s being done right now.

You can also check out the OpenKinect Google group (OpenKinect is how the hackers played with Kinect before Microsoft released their SDK) for ideas and support, and even the OpenKinect wiki.

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About Nick G

Nick has been a blogger since 2007 and is an English and Japanese major, though his roots are in engineering and the sciences. He tutors high school students in Math and English, and plans on becoming a Teacher. In his spare time Nick plays FPS, RTS and RPG computer games, Dungeons and Dragons (the tabletop version) and arcade dance games like DDR. He also likes reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, writing poetry and running. Nick plays drums for the band Tens and Twenties.
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