Microsoft Legitimizes Hacking Of The Kinect


People have been hacking the Kinect since the day it went live. Microsoft initially balked at the idea, then relented, and now it’s even releasing its own software development kit (SDK) to make it easy for coders to do that legitimately.

The kit, which allows outside developers to build their own applications for using the Kinect, is for non-commercial use and is aimed at enthusiasts and academics. Anoop Gupta, a Microsoft distinguished scientist, said the company plans to release a commercial SDK at some point, which would allow companies to build applications for sale. He didn’t give a time frame for the commercial kit.

The Kinect is designed for entertainment use, like playing soccer or dancing. But given what hackers have done with it, Gupta said Microsoft expects people to use the SDK to come up with applications for everything from education to manufacturing to health care and robotics.

“Kinect has amazed tens of millions of people with the body as the controller and what you can do with gestures and speech,” he said. Now “you can take your creations [and] impact tens of millions of people who have PCs today.”

While we’re waiting to see what people do with the official SDK, you can take a gander at some of the homemade hacks in video below, courtesy of an Australian news program.

[Image: Flickr user WipleyBrainSins]

E.B. Boyd is’s Silicon Valley reporter. Twitter. Email.EBB