Kinect can now do multitouch, and Mac OS X

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Florian Echtler and Theo Watson have managed to hook up the Kinect motion controller into two separate software libraries. Echtler used his own libTISCH library to demonstrate multitouch capabilities while Watson ported over libfreenect, the open source Kinect drivers, to work with Mac OS X.

In his demo, Echtler shows off multitouch picture shuffling and zooming. It's not exactly multitouch as we currently know it, because there's no actual touching involved (remember, there's no touchscreen). Nevertheless, the system reacts just like it would for multitouch, except with full body tracking. We could call it multipoke or multipoint, but it just doesn't have the same ring to it.

"Here's my proof-of-concept HD video of using a hacked Kinect camera for multitouch-like interaction," the description for the video reads. "I thought I'd get the mandatory picture-browsing stuff done so it's out of the way and everybody can focus on more interesting things."

Watson, meanwhile, has released a video showing a Mac OS X port. He doesn't seem real excited about it, but that could be because he's exhausted after all the coding. Kinect on OS X doesn't currently work the same way as it does on Windows 7, where you have complete control over its motors. Nevertheless, the potential is certainly there.

All of what you see above is possible thanks to the open source Kinect drivers that were released earlier this week. Without them, it would be impossible to have the Kinect interacting with anything but the Xbox 360. Everything you've seen is a work in progress (the device hasn't even been out for two weeks!), so you can expect more to come.


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