After Kinect hit North American shelves on Nov. 4, Adafruit announced a bounty of $1,000 to the first hacker able to create an open-source driver for Kinect, a piece of software that would allow anybody to create programs that used the device’s powerful array of video cameras and microphones. Though Kinect arrived on the market with a handful of simple games, many analysts feel that gaming represents one of the least powerful potential applications of the new technology.
When Microsoft caught word of Adafruit’s efforts, it issued a warning. “Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,” a spokesperson said, promising the company would “work closely with law enforcement and product-safety groups to keep Kinect tamper resistant.”
Undaunted, Adafruit raised their bounty to $2,000, then to $3,000, and to help people along, uploaded an analysis of the protocols Kinect uses to communicate through its USB plug. Within a few hours, a Spanish open-source advocate named Héctor Martín got a Kinect working with his Linux laptop, and released his open-source driver into the wild.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.