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November 15, 2010 AT 9:18 pm

“Microsoft should keep its sword in its scabbard”…

Eff

Reverse Engineering the Kinect: The Street Starts to Find Uses for Microsoft’s New Gaming Device @ Electronic Frontier Foundation

…AdaFruit offered a prize to the first person to write an open source driver for the Kinect. They then raised their bounty to $3,000. Days later, Spain-based hacker Hector Martin claimed the bounty. Within a day, hardware hackers were employing the open source driver to put the Kinect to all kinds of imaginative uses, including a multi-touch interface.

Microsoft’s initial response was to rattle its sword. A Microsoft 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.”

Microsoft should keep its sword in its scabbard. The Kinect technology is getting rave reviews and generating a real buzz. Microsoft could blow all of this goodwill if it tries to shut down independent innovation around the Kinect, as Sony learned when it tried to shut down innovation around the Aibo. Fans were so outraged that Sony was ultimately spurred to release a programmers kit for it. Microsoft should learn from Sony’s experience and embrace its role as the creator of a new platform for innovation by supporting efforts like those of AdaFruit and hacker Hector Martin—after all, every hacker and every user of a hacked Kinect will have to buy the technology first.


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5 Comments

  1. “every hacker and every user of a hacked Kinect will have to buy the technology first.”

    And in some cases we’ll buy two because we’ll break the first.

    Could we not commoditize and improve upon their hardware soon enough as well?

    –matt

  2. My reply to Microsoft.

    No, you didn’t, and no, you won’t.

    Or as the ending of a quote from the Bard of Avon:
    “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

  3. My message to Microsoft: If you attack openKinect, I won’t buy any game product of you any more!

  4. If Microsoft takes a sword the community that’s trying to do this stuff, It’ll be like slicing through an every growing sponge.

  5. My blood boils at Microsoft’s ignorance. Wake up Microsoft, most people have pretty good bullsh*t detectors these days.

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