Only a few days after the public release of Kinect, the Xbox 360 add-on has already been hacked. It just goes to show that the hacking community can do just about anything when it puts its mind to it (Apple already knows this).
In this case the impetus for hacking comes as a $2,000 bounty offered by New York-based Adafruit Industries. Adafruit believes the Kinect system is too good to be be locked to one gaming system. The video below, posted to YouTube, shows that a hacker has taken control of the Kinect motion sensing system, just released last week as a $149 add-on for the Xbox 360 video game system.
Led by Phillip Torrone, a senior editor at Make magazine and MIT Media lab alumni Limor Fried, Adafruit hasn't given up the prize yet, according to this post. If their request for an open source driver hack has been met, however, we could see the Kinect redirected to work with other game systems, robots, or the PC.
When the bounty was first announced, Microsoft said,
“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. 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.”
Interestingly, the bounty was $1,000 at first. After hearing of the Microsoft response, Adafruit raised it to $2,000.