DIY Kinect Hacking Guide Released

Adafruit, the folks behind the bounty for an open-source Kinect driver, one that would allow end users to use the Kinect with more than just the Xbox 360, have posted a how-to guide. It should be noted, however: it's not exactly drop-dead simple.

The guide comes via an Adafruit employee with the handle Ladyada. You can see, in a video below, how she herself hacked the Kinect's motor and got the accelerometer data out.

The actual winner of the bounty was declared to be Hector Martín Cantero, who took home the bounty after his hack was confirmed.

Ladyada says:
Everyone has seen the Xbox 360 Kinect hacked in a matter of days after our "open source driver" bounty - here's how we helped the winner and here's how you can reverse engineer USB devices as well!

USB is a very complex protocol, much more complicated than Serial or Parallel, SPI and even I2C. USB uses only two wires but they are not used as 'receive' and 'transmit' like serial. Rather, data is bidirectional and differential - that is the data sent depends on the difference in voltage between the two data lines D+ and D- If you want to do more USB hacking, you'll need to read Jan Axelson's USB Complete books , they're easy to follow and discuss USB in both depth and breadth.

USB is also very structured. This is good for reverse engineering because it means that at least the format of packets is agreed upon and you won't have to deal with check-sums. The bad news is it means you have to have software assistance to decode the complex packet structure. The good news is that every computer now made has a USB host core, that does a lot of the tough work for you, and there are many software libraries to assist.
If you're fairly technical and willing to do some work, you yourself could be a Kinect hacker. Check out the pretty complex how-to guide here.