Friday Fun: Groovy Microsoft Kinect Hacks

Microsoft Kinect - Hack it using homebrew drivers and make something groovy

Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect has been quite the success, but not just among console gamers.  After realizing that you could connect the Kinect to your computer, thousands have swarmed to create their own homebrew Kinect applications.  The interest in experimenting with the Kinect’s motion sensing technology is so strong that Microsoft officially announced an upcoming Kinect SDK within the new month or so.  Want to see some examples of what you can do with the Kinect when it’s attached to a computer?  We’ve got them below!

Control Characters in Gary’s Mod

Gary’s mod is a popular sandbox mod that runs on the Valve Half-life 2 physics and graphics engine.  A software engineer at Yelp named John B. designed a system that allows you to control characters in the Gary’s mod game using your Kinect camera.  The characters will mimic your movement with a good bit of precision.

Play Angry Birds On Your PC and Browse the Web

Want to play Angry Birds on your computer using your hands instead of your keyboard?  The Kinect lets you do that!

Automated Home Lighting Control

Mr. Personality himself shows off his Kinect based program that tracks where he is in a room and turns the lights on or off accordingly.

Create CGI Animation On The Cheap

If you’re interested in making your own 3D animated videos, the Kinect could save you up to 75% of the time it takes to animate things.

Real 3D Display, No Glasses Necessary

With head tracking, one user can see a 3D experience on a television that is far superior to the blurry image effect that is produced using glasses.  The experience will only work for the user whose head is being tracked, but it works wonders for that individual.


Do you have a favorite Kinect hack or trick?  Drop a comment below and let us know!

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