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Okay so maybe we are a little late on this but rather than just announce it and be done, we thought we'd expand a little and not only bring you the news but also a round up of some of the amazing things people have done with the testfreaks.co.uk/game-console-... so far.

Basically so far, people have been hacking the Kinect device in order to make it do things that it is currently not intended for, however Microsoft doesn't want people to have to hack it - instead they would rather support them and make it easier for them to play with Kinect in fun and exciting new ways - they are going to do this by releasing a Public Software Development Kit (SDK) for Windows (due this spring).

Supporting this community and enabling creativity around Natural User Interfaces (NUI) is important to us, and our hope is that this SDK will ignite further creativity in an already vibrant ecosystem of enthusiasts. We are very excited by this announcement. Not only does it showcase our investment in this important technology trend, but it ensures that people have the tools they desire to revolutionize how people interact with technology.


So what does this mean for Kinect?
Well why don't you take a look at some of these hacks/mods yourself and make your own mind up... bearing in mind this has all been done by members of the public without Microsoft's help.

Kinect Hand Detection
Inspired by the film Minority Report, this video shows you how Kinect can track Hands and fingers and then use that information to navigate through virtual menu's.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlLschoMhuE

Kinect Controlling Windows 7
This video will show you how Kinect can take control of Windows 7, allowing you to view maps, explore your desktop and much more.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-wLOfjV ... re=related

Interactive Kinect Puppet
just a bit of fun, this mod tracks your arm and hand movements and replicates a projection of a bird on the wall... the bird reacts to gestures and movement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAGnSrdO ... re=related

Realtime Kinect Lightsaber
This tracks your hand movements on screen to give the appearance that you are holding a Lightsaber... it also replicated ths noises a lightsaber would make if it were real and it was swung round.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EeJCln5 ... re=related

Recognizing Objects
This video shows Kinect trying to identify what certain objects are... at first it doesn't know but once it is told what the object is - it remembers it for next time it is asked. It also shows how Kinect can output speech commands using a text-to-speech type process.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ59dXOo ... re=related

Mario Played using Kinect
This video shows how you can utilise Kinect to play the Classic Mario side-scrolling games. It tracks motion and gestures in order to replicate button presses and control Mario.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CTJL5lUjHg

Quadrotor Autonomous Flight and Obstacle Avoidance with Kinect Sensor
Don't be frightened of the name, be more frightened of what it is, these people have hacked Kinect and attached it to a small helicopter - Kinect can then tell the helicopter where to go by scanning it's surroundings for objects and determining the best way to get around them.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWmVrfjDCyw

Kinect Teleoperation of Humanoid Robot
If the last video didn't scare you, try this one. Kinect is controlling a real robot based on your movement and actions.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdSfLyZl4N0

Playing World of Warcraft Using Kinect
This mod allows you to play World of Warcraft using Kinect... allowing you to move freely about the world and cast spells/attack using gestures - now these WOW nuts have no reason to sit on their butts all day playing.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvgOvjdDZag

Using Kinect to Embody an Avatar in Second Life
This hack allows you to control your Avatar in the online world of Second Life.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehTvtkyb ... re=channel


And this is just the beginning of it all, with lot's more possibilies and even more videos out there that haven't been covered in this article - the only way is up for Kinect.

I for one cannot wait to see what innovative ideas are created after the SDK drops... especially with Microsofts full support on the whole thing.

Why don't you let us know what you think to what you have seen or possibly any ideas you might have in utilising Kinect... it doesn't have to be possible because remember - all these videos were imagined a long time ago but have only come into fruition with the development of Kinect - so anything is possible.
 

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