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.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.