Ever since the Kinect’s surprisingly lucrative success, independent developers around the world have been writing programs to tap into the device and try to unlock its true potential.
Here are some of my favourite Kinect hacks so far:
Playing Minecraft with Kinect
When you play Minecraft, what’s the first idea you think of when you think “What could make this game better?” is it the fact that you should be able to place each individual block and mine each square of resource with your own arms? No! It’s not mine either, but I chose this hack because it’s an interesting hack, not because it’s specifically productive…and it has nothing to do with my previous obsession with Minecraft…nothing at all…Incidentally this hack was created by user leparlon
The Lightsaber Hack!!
The Kinect hack that every geek and nerd in the world is most interested in is, of course, the interactive porn hack but until that comes out they can get their nerdgasms from the Lightsaber Hack. User Yankeyan has programmed his Kinect to recognize an ordinary stick as a lightsaber, complete with real time sound effects…yes people, we are one step closer to a Star Wars game on Kinect.
The mobile Kineck robot
This is KinectBot! KinectBot, as you can probably imagine, uses the Kinect camera as an eye and not only scans the environment around him but also reconstructs it in a 3D environment. The KinectBot can also recognize humans and their hand and arm gestures. This hack was made by Skynet…erm, no I mean Squadbot.
User TakayukiFukatsu has created this interesting little hack, where your body appears as if covered in Metal Gear Solid style optic-camo. Whist being slightly pointless, this hack is, nonetheless, an interesting one.
Playing Left 4 Dead 2 with Kinect
So here you have it, proof that you can (in theory) play a full first person shooter with the Kinect camera. User MrPsychoJJ posted this demo of himself playing the Valve zombie shooter. He has used FAAST (Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit) to map the basic actions and has even included the option to reload.
This truly innovative Kinect hack was posted by user ikaziso and shows off his amazingly dexterous little robot being controlled by his Kinect camera. The video is indeed impressive, especially the part where he stands on one leg!
One of my absolute favourite hacks for the Kinect has to be the impressive ‘Piano Anywhere’ posted by user petermmoz which shows both he and his friend re-enacting the famous scene from the movie Big. Without a doubt, one of the most fun looking hacks to date.
The Doom Robot!
Swooping in like something from the latest Terminator movie to the soundtrack of The Empire from Star Wars, the Quadrotor Autonomous Flight and Obstacle Avoidance demo posted by user pbout77 shows the capabilities of his machine, despite being able to FLY!, the bot can also detect obstacles and actively avoid them.
We’re all doomed…
But it’s not all controllable robots and paving the way for their inevitable mechanical takeover in this list! Here we find user KinectHacks (awesome name by the way) showing off their interactive puppet show. Nice!
Ending with something that I sometimes find myself doing on a semi-regular basis (depending on my blood-alcohol content,) The ever-classic Air Guitar! User pixelsumo posted this hack of him and friends playing air guitar, interestingly the position of your left hand affects the sound of the guitar a surprising amount.