Open source Kinect drivers for PC arrive, $3,000 bounty won

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The NUI Group posted its Kinect motion controller hacking results first, and is now working on an SDK and Windows drivers to enable all the capabilities of the peripheral. That will all be released as open source once the group's $10,000 donation fund is filled up.

In the meantime, hacker Hector Martin has coded his own drivers (three hours after the European launch of the Kinect) and has released his results and code over on Marcansoft. He's simply displaying the pulled data from the IR and RGB cameras, but it still means you can plug your Kinect into your PC and have some fun (assuming you understand the raw code). Bill gates would be proud. The video below shows Martin's work, which he pulled off without even owning an Xbox 360:

Martin has won $3,000 for being the first person to successfully create the open source drivers. Last week, open source hardware developer Adafruit Industries offered $1,000 to the first person or team to complete the task, and after Microsoft said it did not "condone the modification of its products," Adafruit upped the bounty to $2,000, and later to $3,000.

"Hector has decided to invest this bounty into hacking tools and devices for a group of people he works with closely (e.g. iPhone Dev Team members, Wii hacker team Team Twiizers, and a few others)," the company said in a statement. "They don't have much expendable income to buy tools and devices to hack, and sometimes this hobby can be a bit expensive, this will be a good investment that will allow them to hack more and newer devices."

Microsoft has dismissed all these achievements as "hacks" and is instead rightfully saying that these are merely drivers. That being said, the progress is phenomenal considering for how little time the Kinect has been available for.


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