Kinect already hacked for use on PC?

We're sure there's a reason that Microsoft locked down Kinect to keep it away from hackers who would use it for their own nefarious, open-source ends, we just can't figure it out. Why even try when it's going to be cracked within days?

Adafruit Industries, a firm headed by two MIT graduates, is offering up a $2,000 “bounty” to the first group or individual to upload working open-source drivers for Kinect. $2,000 is enough of an incentive to ensure that there's a small army of hobbyist programmers trying to crack the new motion controller.

Meanwhile, a fast-working coder cracked Kinect's security measures and wrote (at least partially) working USB drivers for the device before it even saw worldwide release. AlexP, who hacked the PlayStation Eye two years ago, broke through Kinect's security measures as part of a weekend project and released a video showing his handiwork on November 7.

But he's not sharing anything but footage. According to Engadget, AlexP isn't interested in the prize and will be keeping his drivers to himself for use in his company's projects. Despite such secrecy, those eager to try Kinect on their PCs probably won't have to wait long for open-source drivers to appear, thanks to Adafruit's reward.

Microsoft is none-to-pleased with these developments and issued an official statement stating, "Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering," the company continued "Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."

Nov 08, 2010



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  • Voncarstien161 - January 19, 2011 7:11 p.m.
  • SmOkM - November 9, 2010 3:07 p.m.

    wouldn't it be great if software kits where released for sit at home devs to make there own games and utilities..... think of the popularity that would spawn for such a product.
  • celticwhisper - November 9, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    Deedob - My understanding of the situation is the same but it's not to say that skeleton tracking couldn't be reimplemented in software once the device's output is understood and mapped. It'll eventually be just a "sudo apt-get install libskeltrack" away.
  • deedob - November 9, 2010 12:46 p.m.

    I just wonder what's the point of hacking Kinect. We all know the specs of the device and what's in it. Anyone who knows a bit in electronics could put such a thing together. The real "magic" of Kinect is the skeleton tracking and that is software that, unless i'm mistaken, is in the 360, not the Kinect. At best they'll control the motor and see the images the cameras are seeing and the voice coming from the microphone. Unless i'm missing something about the Kinect, i just wonder what the fuss is about?
  • Mooshon - November 9, 2010 11:07 a.m.

    ... Kinect hack > Indie devs > Cybersex 2.0 > Demise of functioning society > Skynet becomes self-aware, 2020. MS are just trying to save the world man.
  • jmcgrotty - November 9, 2010 7:07 a.m.

    This is the stupidest story in decades. It makes as much sense to want to hack the Kinect as it would be to hack a tube of toothpaste.. Whats the point?
  • super0sonic - November 9, 2010 6:48 a.m.

    hmm i thought that Kinect was PC compatible.
  • SwampRock - November 9, 2010 3:47 a.m.

    cry about it microsoft all of your precious secrets have been revealed.
  • AxiamWolfe - November 9, 2010 2:56 a.m.

    Unfortunately, all they managed to do was control the motors or something. Nothing about body motion tracking or anything yet. At least it's a start though.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - November 9, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    Ladies and gentlemen, a new world record!
  • JohnnyMaverik - November 9, 2010 1:13 a.m.

    If they released it open source compatible with the pc (and preferably Mac as well) it'd sell like hot cakes. Indie software devs (not just game devs) would take that tech and fly with it, not only that but I'm sure they'd give Microsoft themselves a lot of ideas as to where they go with this technology. But it's M$soft so open source and cross platform compatibility is firmly out of the question. I would say it's a shame but I doubt anybody on any level expected them to go that route anyway.
  • AngryAmoeba - November 9, 2010 1:07 a.m.

    I have no idea why Microsoft wants to keep Kinect restricted so much. I feel like it would be more useful on a PC than an Xbox. Clever PC developers could make really great use of the technology, both in games and outside them.
  • bonerachieved - November 9, 2010 12:37 a.m.

    wooo! PandaT1mes goin to love thisss
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - November 9, 2010 12:34 a.m.

    Microsoft can stop their complaining. At least more Kinect units will be sold if they're easy to mod. Whiny dipshits.
  • juicenpancakes - November 9, 2010 12:31 a.m.

    @Kevlar Turban: "I don't even have one of these yet and someone has hacked it!? FML." -- And why does this affect your life in such a negative manner? Just wondering...
  • MrDuracraft - November 9, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    @KevlarTurban Really, I don't get the big problem it makes for you if somebody has hacked it. All this hack did was make is compatible with PCs, and unless the hack affects online play somehow it most likely will not affect those other than MS and the hackers. Unless MS does something stupid about the hacking that affects everyone with a Kinect.
  • JohnnyMaverik - November 9, 2010 12:26 a.m.

    "Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products." PC gamers forgot to care. Now surrender to Valve and leave us alone.
  • KevlarTurban - November 9, 2010 12:25 a.m.

    I don't even have one of these yet and someone has hacked it!? FML....
  • FanofSaiyan - November 9, 2010 12:25 a.m.

    Imagine if they got this technology to work with WoW or KOTOR!

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