Here is a Kinect hack that not only has a wow factor but can actually be useful. KinEmote is a free public beta that lets Windows users navigate Boxee and XBMC menus using nothing but hand gestures.

Developed by John Simons and Joel Griffin Dodd, the software is built around OpenNI and NITE middleware from PrimeSense, the company behind the Kinect technology. It is licensed under GNU General Public License v3.

"While many of these projects are extremely impressive, they haven't really provided the casual user with something they can enjoy on a daily basis," Griffin Dodd said in a statement. "That's why we developed KinEmote, a practical application that anyone can just install and use. Of course we also wanted to give people something fun to play with for Christmas".

"I'm really impressed that PrimeSense stepped up and released open source software for anyone to develop around," Simons said in a statement. "They have inspired developers like myself to try something new in the hope of giving back to the community as a whole. Projects like XBMC are wonderful examples of the power of open source, I'm glad we can support Boxee & XBMC in a new way by providing practical tools to leverage the power of the awesome Kinect hardware."