This week, a company founded by former MIT members issued a cash prize of $2,000 for anyone who could break into the Kinect for Xbox 360 and access the motion-sensors on the camera from another platform aside from the Xbox. The winner? A developer from the NUI Group, an open-source community of developers and programmers alike.
In a video shot by user AlexP (posted after the break), we see the ability to control the camera with a computer running Windows 7. We saw that he could move the camera up and down and he could also see the Kinect's color and infrared panels and made them show up on the desktop. It should be noted that AlexP was also able to make a program like this for the PlayStation Eye.
Microsoft, however, claims that he hasn't hacked it. We have Microsoft's response and the video after the break.
When this story broke, Microsoft did not approve of these actions one bit, saying,
Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. 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.
Since then, Microsoft has now taken a different approach, stating that the Kinect has not been hacked. I think they just had a disdain for the word "hack" being used around the words "Xbox 360".
Kinect for Xbox 360 has not been hacked - in any way - as the software and hardware that are part of Kinect for Xbox 360 have not been modified. What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360. The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported. We strongly encourage customers to use Kinect for Xbox 360 with their Xbox 360 to get the best experience possible.
So, they're pretty much saying that they haven't hacked it, merely made drivers that allow it to be used with other things, and, if something were to explode in the process of you doing these awful acts of experimentation, don't come cryin' to Microsoft. Contrary to their name, they're not a bunch of softies. Hmph.
See the "hacking" for yourself, though. Here's the video and we are curious to see what else this thing can do! We've already seen it taken apart using four different types of screws to try to make that attempt impossible!