LAST MONTH Microsoft launched Kinect, a sophisticated peripheral device for the Xbox 360 gaming console that allows rich interaction through gesture and movement. Expanding on the capabilities of Nintendo’s Wii Remote, Kinect comes equipped with motion sensors, allowing gamers to play by moving their bodies rather than wielding traditional handheld controllers. When Kinect was released, DIY electronic kit retailer Adafruit Industries offered an X Prize-like bounty for the first individual to reverse engineer the device and develop open source software drivers. A week later, Spanish engineering student Hector Martin posted functional drivers online and a myriad of interaction designers and software artists are now freely exploring Kinect’s capabilities as a controller device.
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