The Kinect Hack Compendium!
Since Microsoft released its Kinect accessory for Xbox 360, it's become the "it" gadget for hackers. And we've seen so many hacks for it since its introduction that, well, we've kind of lost count. So to better keep track of it all, we've put together this catalog of all the Kinect hacks we've covered here on GeekTech.
Feel free to bookmark this page; it'll be updated regularly as we cover more Kinect hacks. It's listed in reverse-chronological order, so the newest items will appear at the top. Enjoy.
Last Updated: May 10, 2011
May 10, 2011: I can't juggle, thanks to my lousy hand-eye coordination. But if you can juggle, this Kinect hack looks like a fun diversion. Created by a Google Code user named Tom, the Kinect Juggle hack lets you, well, juggle using virtual, augmented-reality balls.
May 3, 2011: Star Wars fans, rejoice: the Kinect SDK is making the future of your childhood a reality. If you've been following our coverage, you'll know some intrepid coders have already hacked Microsoft's Kinect sensor to capture and stream 3D holographic messages over the Internet and render lightsaber blades in real-time, but now German researcher Michael Zöllner is working on an open-source program that employs the Kinect sensor to capture your body and render it encased in carbonite.
May 3, 2011: Kinect-based gaming is already pretty cool, as are the hacks of the Microsoft device that followed its release last year. But it can be made even cooler by connecting up an iPhone for an ultimate two player experience.
April 20, 2011: Ever wondered what would happen if you crossed a Kinect with a hack of a cult classic game? An even more addictive, albeit basic, 3D game of Tetris, complete with Wiimote to move blocks around.
April 14, 2011: There are now hundreds of Microsoft Kinect hacks in the hacking community right now. When you have hacks such as the Super Saiyan impersonator and the robot controller too, it didn't take too long for someone to figure out how to control a rocket launcher connected to the Kinect with just their hands.
April 7, 2011: If you have to do a few tasks after a long day at work, it would be much nicer to sit back and wave a wand rather than sit at a desk clicking. Although the magic wand may not be happening anytime soon, a Kinect hack will now do some of the hard work for you. All you need are a few hand gestures, a PC running Windows 7, and a comfy chair.
April 4, 2011: A quick show of hands: How many of you actually enjoy video conferences if you can't be there in person? They can be kind of awkward when you could probably say what you want to an IM conversation. But another Kinect hack just might have taken the awkwardness out of video conferencing--and made them quite cool in the process.
April 1, 2011: What would happen if a Kinect hack hacked itself, thus gaining sentience and bringing about technological singularity? I have no idea. Thankfully, the fine folks at College Humor have already thought through the mind-bending possibilities, and produced this pretty friggin hilarious video.
March 31, 2011: German students have taken Halfbrick's popular smartphone game, Fruit Ninja, and literally made it larger than life.
March 31, 2011: PARCO, a Shibuya department store, has set up a cyberspace simulator in honor of the manga/game/anime franchise Ghost in the Shell. This specific setup is actually in honor of the recent film, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society.
Mar 17, 2011: Kinect hacks seem to be getting better and better. From being hacked to work with Windows 7 all the way to the recent Evil Genious simulator, there's now even more excuse to give Kinect hacking a try. However, the University of Konstanz in Germany has created possibly one of the best and most useful hacks yet: The gift of sight to the blind. Well, kind of.
Mar 14, 2011: What do you do when you have a pair of tesla coils, a Kinect and alcohol-fueled inspiration? If you’re a group of British hackers, you create the Evil Genius Simulator, a hack that allows you to control the power of electricity by waving your arms.
Mar 10, 2011: We love Kinect hacks, so when we spotted this latest clever use of Microsoft's ridiculously popular Xbox 360 accessory, we just had to share it: A hacker put his Kinect to work as a home automation tool.
Mar 4, 2011: When you think of hacking, school assignments probably aren't the first thing that come to mind. But then again, you're probably not in Golan Levin's class.
Mar 3, 2011: Over the course of about two weeks, Nisha Kurani, John Horstman, and their fellow students in Carnegie Mellon's Special Topics in Interactive Art & Computational Design course hacked Microsoft Kinect cameras. Not for fun, mind you, but for class credit.
Mar 2, 2011: Life would be better with flashy comic book sound effects. At least, that’s what one group of students thinks. Four students at Carnegie Mellon University worked together to create “Comic Kinect,” a Kinect hack that adds comic book-esque sound effects to ordinary contact. The software tracks users’ skeletons, and then adds graphics where they contact each other to simulate the look of a fight.
Mar 1, 2011: A Kinect-powered robot could soon be helping locate earthquake victims, thanks to the engineering ingenuity of a group of U.K. students. The rescue-robot, developed at the University of Warwick by the geeky Warwick Mobile Robotics (WMR) team, could help significantly reduce the costs involved in earthquake rescue attempts.
Feb 28, 2011: There have been plenty of cool Kinect hacks since Microsoft released the motion-sensitive device, so it's no surprise that the hacks are coming thick and fast, like this really cool 3D printout puzzle piece of yourself.
Feb 25, 2011: Despite Microsoft's initial disapproval of amateur hackers tampering with the Kinect software and developing custom drivers, the developers behind indie game OctoDad have managed to hack their quirky physics-based puzzle game to allow full motion control; given that OctoDad is all about acting like an uncoordinated octopus strapped inside a human suit, we thought it might be fun to showcase the game in action. Despite blizzard conditions in Illinois the development team at DePaul University were kind enough to record a short video for us of their hack in action.
Feb 17, 2011: Using openFrameworks and an Armadillo 500 FX Android tablet, HirotakaSter got the table to show the video feed from the Kinect’s camera. While this setup isn’t doing much more than display video at the moment, we’re pretty excited at the prospect of having a portable Android/Kinect system for hacks while on the run.
Feb 3, 2011: Thanks to a new Kinect hack you too can now re-enact scenes from Dragonball Z--all from the comfort of your very own home. Dubbed the Kinect-Kamehameha, the new hack makes use of the Kinect's motion tracking abilities, enabling you to get your Super Saiyan on in style - complete with oversized hair and energy balls.
Feb 2, 2011: Dan Nixon and Don Jones recently shot a video for the band Echo Lake, featuring its song Young Silence. The video itself it pretty cool, and seems to fit the song's almost dream-like sound well. But the most impressive part? It was filmed using a Microsoft Kinect.
Jan 27, 2011: We follow the latest emerging trends in tech here at PCWorld, so we've been hooked on the Microsoft Kinect hacking scene. We decided to try some projects for ourselves and show you how easy it is to get started with Kinect hacks.
Jan 24, 2011: What can you hack a Kinect to do? What can't you hack a Kinect to do? Control a robot? Check. Model the human skeleton? Check. Now MIT Media Lab researchers used a Kinect to capture holographic video, which they then were able to stream over the Internet.
Jan 17, 2011: This humanoid robot has been programmed to copy your every move via the Kinect. It does this by using the Kinect (connected to a PC) to map the human body; it then sends that data to Japanese robot Website V-Sido. Thanks to the Kinect and V-Sido, the robot-to-human coordination is pretty flawless.
Jan 11, 2011: So, you want to play some Call Of Duty on your PC? You could do that the old fashioned way, or you could spice things up a little by hooking your PC up to Microsoft's Kinect and Nintendo's Wii Remote for some added FPS awesomeness, One avid gamer has done just that, sharing the impressive results on YouTube for all to see.
Jan 3, 2011: Another day, another Kinect hack. The Microsoft motion-control camera is fast becoming the go-to Augmented Reality accessory for the geek set. This week’s demo has a decidedly medical bent; the magic mirror project lets you see a real time view of "your" skeleton like a real-time x-ray.
Dec 31, 2011: Here's a Kinect hack via OpenNI (an open source framework tool for Kinect) constructed by Evan Suma, a researcher at the University of Southern California and his team. It's called FAAST (Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit), and it allows for basic commands and movement to be done via body motion and sound in the game.
Dec 9, 2010: I’ve wanted a Minority Report-esque way to control my computer for years, especially since a lot of my astronomy image-processing workflow involves countless mouse clicks and there's no way to automate the process. But I shouldn’t have to wait much longer, thanks to a team at MIT that has created a hand-detection system out of Microsoft’s Kinect camera. By detecting where your palms and fingers are, the Kinect lets you scroll through images, select them, and even enlarge them at will, using one or both hands. No clumsy gloves required!
Nov 29, 2010: Kinect hacking is taking off at blinding speed. Microsoft's Kinect motion controller for XBox 360 is less than a month old, and it’s been barely two weeks since Adafruit announced a winner in their Open Kinect competition. Since the, Microsoft has tacitly endorsed opening up the Kinect as a platform, and it seems like there’s a new Kinect hack every couple of hours. It can be tough to keep up with a phenomenon that’s gone from nothing to a full blown scene in less than a month, so as a service to you we’re rounding up GeekTech’s favorite Kinect hacks.
Nov 8, 2010: Kinect, Microsoft's motion gaming accessory has been hacked--mere days after its release.