Cool Kinect hacks

We round up some of the best Kinect hacks

  • When Microsoft launched [[xref: |Kinect for the Xbox 360]], it intended the peripheral — which is capable of full-body motion tracking for multiple simultaneous users — to be used for games and media playback. However, it wasn't long before enterprising hackers started using Kinect to do much, much more. Microsoft has embraced the burgeoning community of Kinect tinkerers, and will release a [[xref:|Windows SDK]] for the device, which recently set a [[xref:| Guinness World Record]]. We've rounded up some of the coolest Kinect hacks so far.

  • Kinect-powered telesurgery

    Kinect may have been designed to work with the Xbox 360 games console, but some researchers are exploring some serious uses for the technology. At the University of Washington's Biorobotics Laboratory, graduate students have explored the [[xref:|possibilities of using the system in remote surgery]]. University of Washington professor Howard Jay Chizeck told [[xref:|]] that "Lots of improvements are needed — this is just a first proof of principle. Limitations include Kinect accuracy, possible need to use different frequencies of light (instead of just IR [infrared]), and a number of other possible enhancements... This is a long way from practical application (years). " _ _
  • Body controlled vacuuming

    From the serious to the silly: Using the [[xref:|Kinect to control a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner]]. Of course, given that the whole point of a Roomba is to save you effort when it comes to household chores, it's probably not the most practical hack. On the other hand, it's an example of the kind of development community spontaneously created by Kinect: People finding new uses for Kinect because it's there and it's interesting.
  • Teleoperated robots

    [[xref: |This system uses both a Kinect senor and a Wiimote]] (the wandlike peripheral used by Nintendo's Wii console) to control a robot.
  • Making music with Microsoft

    Portuguese group Moullinex used Kinect to create a great music video for their song Catalina, off their Chocolat EP. You can read how it was done [[xref:|here]].
  • Control your home entertainment setup

    [[xref: |Harishankar Narayanan]] rigged up a Kinect-driven system to control his home entertainment set up. The only trouble with this is someone in your lounge room trips over and your secret Justin Bieber collection starts playing at full bore. (Via [[xref:|Hackaday]]).
  • Making friends with Android

    This video by [[xref: |'HirotakaSter']] shows Kinect hooked up to a device running Google's Android operating system. We're not sure how Redmond would feel, given its Windows Phone 7 OS competes with Android. (Via [[xref:|Ubergizmo]]).
  • Printing 3D models

    Interactive Fabrication's [[xref: |"Fabricate Yourself"]] creates a [[xref: |miniature 3D model of a person]]. All you have to do is stand in front of a Kinect sensor; after a 3D model is captured, a 3D printer will crank out your own little memento.
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