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Adafruit's Open Kinect Project Answered

Adafruit has posted a $2,000 bounty for open-source drivers and/or an application for the Kinect X-Box 360 controller. The first person or team to post their succesful open-source documentation to Github can claim the glory and loot.

For full details, check out this link:


“Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,” a company spokesperson told CNET. “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.”

You gotta love Microsoft. The very thinly veiled threat - which doesn't have any teeth because the activities in question are not, in fact, illegal - is just so typical of them. They're going to work closely with law enforcement to make sure teh hack0rz can't break their total control over their hardware? Really? And just how does "product safety" enter into the picture at all? Are they afraid the "OMG Communism Open Source" is gonna turn the Kinect into a killing automaton? They're so full of it.


They are afraid someone will shock themselves while the device is plugged in and they be sued (would be my guess).

Malarkey. They're no more scared of that than any other electronics maker. Seriously, it's a transparent effort to maintain the kind of monopolies they are so shameless about developing - in this case, just monopoly over what the Kinect can do, instead of what the whole world runs on their computers.

(I don't mean to be rude to you, by the way - I just don't believe for a New York minute that they are terribly afraid of that ;) ).

I was thinking Microsoft said what they originally said because they thought this would mean people would tamper with Kinect to cheat on online games, but now they realize that people are not hacking Kinect for cheating purposes, they support it.

And that's exactly their story, but they condemned the Adafruit challenge - which was not to cheat, but only to develop drivers/applications, not go all black-hat on games - from word go. The said flatly that they did not condone modification of their products. :\

True. I guess Microsoft misunderstood the challenge and thought people would actually try and modify the kinect system instead of just writing drivers for an unmodified Kinect.

That's the nice way of looking at it; I fear mine is more cynical. :D

They pretty much state this though. They don't want apps they are not getting a commission for. It "sounds" like good business sense, until one realizes how well many open source items are selling.

I honestly think that MS was 'trying' to pull an "Apple" stunt on everyone

That's a good way of expressing it! It's certainly control-freakish enough. :\

Ah well, twas only a suggestion...from a tired and overwrought mind I suppose, as things finally start to wind down a little here. But it won't be until the year's end that things smooth out much for me.

No, no! I don't mean it's a dumb suggestion, it just presuppposes a much more...benevolent...company than I've seen. :D

Well, I have little faith in MS anymore. We just got back from the the grocers and the ATM checkout machine crashed.....when it booted up again, I saw the famous "starting Windows XP" logo and the default sound..... '

Their new slogan:
Microsoft: Crashing computers worldwide....

We toured the brand new British warship HMS Dauntless last month. In the control centre, where photography was banned, several of the screens had the WIndows logo bouncing around...


Egads, I was kidding.....*sigh*

Many a word, spoken in jest...

(Seriously, I have doubts about the UK forces' ability to function in a full-blown war if it is running at the whim of Bill Gates.)

The things is, Microsoft is bad, but Apple is worse. The products they make seem impenetrable, unless you pay eighty dollars to have them replace the headphone jack.

The makers have risen to the occasion, as can be seen with sites like IFixit. Apple also makes use of use what’s called “planned obsolescence". They make their products, and make it seem obsolete months later by releasing a fancier one, making yours look like a gramophone in a sea of iPhones. 

Despite the fact fact that it's an evil company (Making mods impossible, making the app approval process challenging, suing  small companies for put "pod" in their product name), I still use their products because they are well made and computers make life easier. 

Yes, I am a hypocrite.

I've seen Planned obsolescence happen with my old iPhone 3G. The 4.0 update made the iPhone slow down tremendously, and with Apple's verification system I can't roll the firmware back to 3.1.3. I ended up upgrading to the iPhone 4 (Verizions plans happened to be more expensive than the AT&T plans).

I don't hate iPhone, I like using it, but it seems Apple takes Planned obsolescence too far. At least they don't use it as much on iPods (My old 3rd gen iPod nano is just as good as the day I bought it from the store)

Not so much a hypocrite as someone doing what they must with what is available....I don't like that my car, modern as it is, pollutes the air to some extent...I still have to drive to work.

just to clear somethings up (i do realize this is a comment from november but i dont want anyone getting the wrong ideas) microsoft has embraced the open kinect project. they believed hackers would use this to cheat at kinect games. they said
“ The first thing to talk about is, Kinect was not actually hacked. Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit inside of the Xbox and was able to actually use them, which hasn't happened. Or, it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened. That's what we call hacking, and that's what we have put a ton of work and effort to make sure doesn't actually occur. What has happened is someone wrote an open-source driver for PCs that essentially opens the USB connection, which we didn't protect, by design, and reads the inputs from the sensor. The sensor, again, as I talked earlier, has eyes and ears, and that's a whole bunch of noise that someone needs to take and turn into signal. ”
—Microsoft's Alex Kipman speaking formally on NPR's Science Friday

>microsoft has embraced the open kinect project

Yeah, they've sure changed their tune. First nebulous threats like the one I noted above, now suddenly they "embrace" it. Uh-huh. And guess what, nobody will face any legal action! Such a nice company. </sarcasm>

"Since its release November 4, “hacking” Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360 game consoles has become a popular Internet sport. Now, just a couple of weeks after saying that it would “work closely with law enforcement” to keep the Kinect tamper-proof, Microsoft has apparently reversed its stance, claiming that the Kinect was left open to tinkerers on purpose." - Source

They probably just realized in a rare moment of utter clarity that their knee-jerk reactionary statements made them look like fools, and are scrambling to do some damage control.

So, yeah, they claim to embrace it, but they're just flip-flopping. It's ridiculous to claim that Microsoft left something open to hacking ("Microsoft told CNET on November 4 that it 'does not condone the modification of its products.'" - that sure doesn't sound like leaving it open to hacking "by design") , and even more so for them to claim it.