The Kinect has been a sales phenomenon, hitting shelves in November and selling 8 million units worldwide since – beating out both the iPad and DVD player for fastest-selling electronic gadget to hit shelves ever. But it’s more than a game controller.
Sure, the vast majority of those buying it are plugging their new Kinect into their Xbox and gaming away. Because the units run on software that Microsoft chose to develop completely open source.. it’s also imminently hackable. Which is what some people are doing.
This video from the vlog Vsauce shows a dozen ways that people have hacked their Kinect’s software to do things like control Christmas lights, create 3D flying robots, and a lot of other great stuff.
Other hacks include someone who figured out how to hook it up to a Mac and a humanoid robot that mimics its master’s movements. Then, of course, there’s the video jockey in Liverpool who used his to track the crowd at a warehouse party and allow them to control the sound, allowing the crowd to become the DJ.
The Kinect has infinite possibilities and could become Microsoft’s second income stream to bolster flagging operating system and other software sales.
Most of all, though, the open source software and the little $150 device are proof that if you give them something, they will hack and if you allow them free reign, they will do cool things.