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Kinect hacked immediately upon release

November 15, 2010 by Jen

According to an announcement by Microsoft, their new Kinect controller was hacked almost as soon as it was issued for sale. The Kinect controller, designed for use with the Xbox, is a motion sensor which tracks full body movements, creating a digital skeleton of the body in order to capture movement and transmit it during gaming. Microsoft’s new innovation has now been hacked so that users can make it work in conjunction with a PC, in addition to the Xbox console.

The people responsible for producing the hack have stated that they want the device to be accessible for use in schools for art projects, and to assist with interaction between robots and humans. Microsoft have stated that they are disappointed with the way the device has already been modified.

Adafruit, the manufacturer of electronic kits, were the first people to attempt to hack the control system, and they announced earlier this month that they would be prepared to reward anyone who could manage to crack the device and develop control software drivers for Kinect. Hector Martin was the first person to produce the drivers and make them available for people to use and improve. Initially, the device was modified to work with a Linux laptop, and now development is underway in order to change the voice capture system.

A spokesperson for Microsoft stated: “The Xbox 360 control system for the Kinect had not been hacked. What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360. The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported. We strongly encourage customers to use Kinect for Xbox 360 with their Xbox 360 to get the best experience possible.”

The Kinect, which sells for around £130, is an appealing prospect for hackers looking to modify the device, as it is a relatively cheap way of accessing a motion sensor device which can be used for a range of activities.

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