Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Kinect Hacked, Adafruit Bounty Won

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the what-took-so-long dept.

Input Devices 262

scharkalvin writes "Adafruit has announced a winner to their bounty for an open source driver for the MS Kinect. From the article: 'We have verified that it works and have a screenshot from another member in the hacking community (thanks qdot!) who was also able to use the code. Congrats to Hector! He's running all this on a Linux laptop (his code works with OpenGL) and doesn't even have an Xbox!'" We talked about Adafruit's bounty yesterday.

cancel ×

262 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Wow... (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191464)

that certainly didn't take long. Congratz.

Tampering! (4, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191470)

Making stuff work is a crime.

Re:Tampering! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191538)

Making stuff work is a crime.

If only... It's worse than that... It's something the corporations don't want you doing. Instead of a receiving small fine and community service, you'll be sued for millions and offered a settlement of your yearly income.

Re:Tampering! (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191580)

The very term Microsoft used, "product tampering", sent chills down my spine. They weren't even talking about replacing aspirin with cyanide, but words like 'tampering' (and implications about getting law enforcement involved) certainly make it sound like that. We're talking about the stuff people themselves actually own. It's astonishing to think that their rhetoric extends so far.

Re:Tampering! (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191682)

What I find strangest is that the PR people at MS still don't seem to get this: spouting a lot of inflammatory nonsense about the Kinect being "tamper-resistant" and the like will piss off the geeks no end, and the non-geeks don't care either way (unless someone comes out with a nicely packaged piece of software that uses the PC interface, I guess). As it stands, we're triumphantly saying "fuck you, evil corporation" and the company that sponsored this is adding a further donation to the EFF to support the good work they do in keeping this stuff legal. The net result for MS is bad publicity with geeks, no impact with the majority of the market, and an open source driver for their device within a few days of its release. I suppose if they'd had any hope of blocking the production of the driver then the bad blood may have served some purpose, but as it stands I'd say they really, really need to fire some people in marketing if they couldn't predict that chain of events. I'm genuinely a little surprised that MS didn't know better.

If they'd just looked at pretty much any similar example in history to see that the open driver was inevitable, they could've played it in such a manner that they distanced themselves from supporting or condoning it, but congratulated the community for their innovation.

Re:Tampering! (2, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191784)

They are likely pissed because Microsoft is likely still in the "We are subsidizing this hardware to ensure a market footprint for the XBox" mode and every Kinetic sold today that isn't used to play Gears of Violence is money out of their pocket with zero 'return'.

Re:Tampering! (4, Interesting)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191908)

Although the Kinect is apparently not subsidised [lazygamer.net] , I completely see your point. They were projecting every Kinect as including $x in additional software sales as well as the $y profit on the hardware, and I totally understand why they're pissed about not getting that $x that they were hoping for. That wasn't my point - their motivation in wanting to prevent the Kinect being used as a standalone device is clear.

My point, and the bit that surprises me, is that they seem to be operating on the assumption that there was ever a chance of preventing the Kinect from being used openly. This assumption leads them to make bad PR moves, like the 'tampering' comments. I wasn't expecting a company like MS, who are usually not too bad with their marketing, to totally ignore all precedent (DRM, undocumented protocols, and the like are always cracked) and come to faulty assumptions like that.

Re:Tampering! (4, Interesting)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192078)

The one thing I can think of was that they were hoping to sell a more expensive, but more functional(artificially) parallel system to people that want to plug into the computer. Once they know there is demand for the technology.

Tampering with demand! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192344)

Can they do that now? Remember so far the only (speculative) demand is for the cheaper Kinect. Has open source drivers and out of band usage for the Wiimote increased measurable sales?

Re:Tampering! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192846)

There is another possible consideration: the producer of the technology.

Primesense [primesense.com] created, presumably holds patents on, and did the reference design for, the "Kinect" camera/IR projector range mapping stuff. MS didn't buy them, they just bought/licenced enough of their stuff to produce Kinect hardware.

It is quite possible that Primesense also sells one or more much expensive motion capture solutions/SDKs/whatever based on the same technology; but agreed to give MS a sweet deal, in $/unit terms, because of the number of units expected to sell.

If the Kinect becomes generally useful, with independently produced drivers, anybody will be able to buy an instance of PrimeSense's fancy tech for $150 at any gamestop.

Consider an example from the old days: the first "Airport" cards were actually just rebadged Lucent gear; but with the pins deliberately switched around so that they would be incompatible with a PCMCIA slot. The Lucent branded equivalents were more expensive; but worked with normal PCMCIA slots. Obviously Lucent wasn't taking a loss on the "airport" cards; but they were having it both ways: sell a bunch of units to well-heeled consumers via Apple; but don't cannibalize the deep-pocketed connected enterprise market, thanks to deliberate incompatibility. There could be something similar going on here.

Re:Tampering! (2, Insightful)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192604)

Although the Kinect is apparently not subsidised [lazygamer.net] , I completely see your point. They were projecting every Kinect as including $x in additional software sales as well as the $y profit on the hardware, and I totally understand why they're pissed about not getting that $x that they were hoping for.

If it's not subsidised, then they're fucking retarded...absolutely bat-shit fucking crazy if you're right and they're pissed about that...

They are making ($y + $x) * 100,000s to owners of xbox360s...

With the advent of this hack, they are making an additional $y * 100s/1,000s of hackers/indie game developers/indie gamers/performance artists etc. etc. who would not have otherwise bought one.

If they argue that those hackers/indie gamers would have gone out and bought an xbox360 and 10 games were it not for someone providing an open driver then they are smoking crack.

For a car analogy, many boy racers like to put Lexus headlight/tail-light clusters on their cars...for...whatever reason. Microsoft's reaction is as stupid as Lexus trying to stop non-Lexus owners from buying their headlight/tail-light clusters because they want them to go out and buy a Lexus.

Re:Tampering! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191938)

They are likely pissed because Microsoft is likely still in the "We are subsidizing this hardware to ensure a market footprint for the XBox" mode and every Kinetic sold today that isn't used to play Gears of Violence is money out of their pocket with zero 'return'.

Well, something is wrong with their business model then. Tough luck.

BTW, in some countries (like... Belgium), it is forbidden to sell a product at a loss (except for clearing old stocks).

Re:Tampering! (1)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192042)

I wonder though...would a DIY geek even buy a Kinect if it weren't for the driver release? If not, Microsoft would only need a small percentage of those geeks to purchase a Kinect game to recoup the loss they took in its manufacture.

Re:Tampering! (4, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192262)

They are likely pissed because Microsoft is likely still in the "We are subsidizing this hardware to ensure a market footprint for the XBox" mode and every Kinetic sold today that isn't used to play Gears of Violence is money out of their pocket with zero 'return'.

The Air Force had plans to build an HPC cluster using about 2,500 PS3s plus spares. Air Force Unhappy With Removal of Linux from PS3 [tomshardware.com]

That sort of thing takes a lot of product off retail shelves and it cannibalizes sales of your own HPC product.

Exit the OtherOS.

That lesson can't have been lost on Microsoft -- or anyone else in this business.

Re:Tampering! (4, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192166)

Of course they can't do anything about the amateur hackers, but I don't think that's the point. It's in their interest to make threatening announcements like this so that companies don't make a business out of poaching Kinects and rebadging/repurposing them essentially on Microsoft's dime. The point is to have a chilling effect on markets, not individuals directly. This isn't to say that this is a good or bad thing (let alone whether it's actually effective), but I suspect that amateur hardware hackers don't really significantly change the equation.

Of course the line between business and individual is blurry. Also, occasionally, a totally-amateur group gets whacked. I'd wager that this is mostly "mission creep", for example some overzealous newly-promoted True Believer looking for brownie points.

Re:Tampering! (2, Insightful)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191688)

My interpretation was that MS misinterpreted the intent of the contest: to be able to *use* Kinect, not to flash custom firmware or reverse engineer it, therefore somewhere between HR, PR, and the exec board somebody made a mistake.

Re:Tampering! (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191932)

My interpretation was that MS misinterpreted the intent of the contest

I think that's a pretty good guess. And presumably they are making a profit on these, so I don't see a downside, and there's a whole lot of upside. When was the last time people were excited and impressed about something new from Microsoft?

Re:Tampering! (2, Funny)

monopole (44023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191796)

The M$ PR department has issued a correction please replace "product tamperers" with "pedo-vandals w/ WMDs"

Re:Tampering! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191960)

I couldn't agree more. The guy didn't accept any EULA. He's not even using it on an xbox.

But more to the point, what the fuck is wrong with Microsoft? This is FREE ADVERTISING.
If they were being cool about the whole thing, you'd have non-gamer geeks (or geeks that are PC gamers, or own a different console) rushing out to buy a kinect.

When someone plugs your product in such a way that it is likely to sell more units, YOU THANK THEM.

Re:Tampering! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192092)

what the fuck is wrong with Microsoft?

As an aside, I should preemptively mention that I know this is /. but this was a rhetorical question.

Re:Tampering! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191692)

Depends on how the hacker did it. If the hacker only released a driver that works without altering the Kinect module in any way, MS can say what they want but they don't have much legal standing. It would be a case of reverse engineering which is legal.

Re:Tampering! (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191746)

By plugging this hardware in you agree to the terms of the license...........

Re:Tampering! (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191794)

Kinda like owning a car, but only a license for the control software that most of them have that won't let you drive off unless you service your car at an authorised retailer every 50 miles.

I can see it now, Apple buying municipal electric companies and sending a modulated signal down the line, after all it's important to control the quality of the power supply to make sure their products/software works properly.

Maybe it could be a beetles track played in reverse, so they could copyright the signal and spread intelligent design through the IHaveThePower grid.

Re:Tampering! (2, Insightful)

Haxamanish (1564673) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191952)

By plugging this hardware in you agree to the terms of the license...........

No: only by signing a license agreement, I agree with the terms of the license.

Re:Tampering! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192122)

I do believe the GPL would heartily disagree with you on that.

Re:Tampering! (3, Informative)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192234)

No. With the GPL, you don't have to agree to it unless you distribute the GPL'd software. If you don't distribute the GPL'd software to anyone (or code that includes GPL'd code), you don't have to agree to the GPL. Otherwise, you would violate copyright law. Accepting the GPL grants you exceptions from copyright law so you can redistribute the software, but you don't violate copyright law in your own fair use.

Re:Tampering! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192200)

A license cannot supersede law.

Re:Tampering! (4, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192748)

The box of my Kinect actually said, and I quote: Requires acceptance of software license agreement available in manual and at: www.xbox.com/sla. You accept by using the Kinect Sensor and your Xbox 360.

It's a good thing I never used my Kinect Sensor with my Xbox 360 since I don't own an Xbox 360 :)

Re:Tampering! (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192048)

Making stuff work is a crime.

      Only in the land of the free. In other "less free" places it's not a crime. Yet.

Wow... (0, Flamebait)

Wilson of Waste (1909510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191504)

Finally, a motion sensor for a computer... /*sarcasm*/

Re:Wow... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191524)

Considering the unit is cheaper than building your own, or buying one. I'd say this is a good thing.

OpenKinect is CLOSED! (-1, Offtopic)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191516)

http://groups.google.com/group/openkinect/?pli=1

OpenKinect

You cannot view the group’s content or participate in the group
because you are not currently a member.  Members must be approved
before joining.

You must be a member of this group to read its archive.

Apply for membership or contact the owner.

Re:OpenKinect is CLOSED! (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192738)

OpenKinect

You cannot view the group’s content or participate in the group
because you are not currently a member. Members must be approved
before joining.

You must be a member of this group to read its archive.

Apply for membership or contact the owner.

Yep..Standard practice for sensibly run email groups.

Microsoft Wanted it that way (5, Insightful)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191528)

"Using a linux laptop". . Now every geek that has avoided Microsoft and their products like the plaugue will be rushing out and buying Kinect controllers. .

Step One: Create a toy that will entise the Open Source crowd
Step Two: Wait for some one to get it to work on their linux box
Step Three: watch all the geeks and hobyists buy said toy
Step Four: Profit

Hacking is good for business.

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (5, Insightful)

cobrausn (1915176) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191570)

And all the sweeter, Microsoft said 'No'. And we all know how we geeks and open source guys are when told 'No'. They will take special joy in paying Microsoft 150 bucks to buy a Kinect and hack it for hobby projects..

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (2, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192100)

What they said was "Suck my chair bitch, who run Ballmer town?"

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (2, Insightful)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191584)

Step Four: Make a loss on every device sold and not recover it because these people aren't buying the games

FTFY

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191624)

Kinect is net positive and not sold at a loss.

http://www.lazygamer.net/microsoft-will-make-a-profit-on-every-kinect-sold/

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192250)

Go back and look at the actual press release, they didn't actually say that they were not selling the Kinect at a loss, they only implied it. I personally doubt that they are able to build those things for less than what they are selling them at.

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192620)

Full quote: "The first Kinect prototype cost Microsoft $30,000 to build, but 1,000 workers would eventually be involved in the project. And now, hundreds of millions of dollars later, the company has a product it can sell for $150 a pop and still turn a profit, Mr. Mattrick says."

Seems like he's saying they make money off each one sold. That is, it cost so much to make, at first, but now we make money off each one at $150. He isn't saying anything about game or anything else so we must assume he means the device itself.

NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/24/business/24kinect.html?pagewanted=3&_r=2&src=busln [nytimes.com]

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192814)

The hardware isn't sold at a loss. There was still a bunch of R&D dumped into the project itself so it has to make X amount of revenue over it's lifetime before it truly turns a profit. Of course, they are shooting themselves in the foot if they continue to release mediocre games that barely get beyond the novelty of the device itself. I think we've all learned our lesson from the Wii this time and any minor flaw that is in the product right now is probably going to continue to stay there.

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (1)

jam244 (701505) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191600)

Except that they don't make huge profits on hardware sales. MS wants you to buy Kinect so that you can then pay $60 per game for hopefully many games. When the Xbox was first released, they sold the hardware at a loss...

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192364)

Microsoft only gets a small part of that $60 too.

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (2, Insightful)

xero314 (722674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191604)

You forgot an important step:

???

Which in this case happens to be:

"Sell product with a reasonable margin"

But it appears that Kinect might actually be sold at a loss (sorry I see mixed reports)

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (3, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191890)

Actually, Microsoft tends to make good hardware, or at least they used to.

Re:Microsoft Wanted it that way (3, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192086)

Hi, this is the Red Ring of Death calling. Where have you been the last few years?

Any company that puts out electronics with more than low single digit failure rates, especially a flagship product, does not make good hardware.

Kinect Tamper-Resistance (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191550)

I've always wondered about that statement - did Microsoft really mean people hacking Kinect the hardware, or did they refer to the new round of cracking going on in the Xbox360 community after Microsoft rolled out the Fall Update?

After all, iFixit's tear down doesn't reveal any anti-tamper mechanisms - no potting of circuit boards or anything. Unless they meant firmware hacking to try a USB jailbreak for the 360, but that's simple to do without needing a $150 piece of equipment.

The Fall update did bring out anti-modded-Xbox protection measures. Backup games fail a new check and the results get reported back to Microsoft, who can institute a new round of console bans (but only if you're stupid enough to connect to Live with your modded Xbox360). I'm just wondering if some new PR person got the explanation all jumbled up or something between the engineers, legal and PR made a very interesting game of telephone.

I can see how going from "The software update we rolled out for Kinect contains new anti-piracy measures" into "Microsoft takes strong measures against those who tamper with Kinect". Or how a simple query by someone asking for drivers to Microsoft gets turned into a request for the Xbox360 software itself leading to silly statements. Add in 20 layers of management that the message gets filtered through and it's what you end up with.

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (4, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191618)

What the Kinect does have is anti-cloning. The Kinect cryptographically authenticates itself to the 360 (but not the other way around, as far as I can tell). In other words, it should be very hard to clone, but this doesn't affect efforts to use it outside of the original Xbox platform.

It seems to me like the people in charge of those Microsoft PR statements don't really know what they're talking about. Sure, there's some "security" around the Kinect (in the general sense of anti-cloning and associated Xbox updates), but as far as I can tell, no effort has been made to prevent DIY use like this. Getting it to work was comparable to getting any other proprietary USB device to work: an exercise in reverse engineering and traffic replaying, but there were no deliberate obstacles along the way.

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191674)

Anti-cloning makes more sense than anything really. What does microsoft REALLY care if you use a kinect with your Linux PC? Or even your windows PC.

They would, however, want to stop people selling knock-off kinect peripherals. (Whether they should be able to even do that is a separate question, but at least one can see why they'd be motivated to.)

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191996)

Anti-cloning makes more sense than anything really. What does microsoft REALLY care if you use a kinect with your Linux PC? Or even your windows PC.

Microsoft probably cares very much if Kinect sales are not perceived in the marketplace as indicative of the Xbox 360 Kinect-using market, since the market penetration of the Xbox360+Kinect combo is a point to use in getting devs to make games for that combo.

If one person does it, sure, they don't care. But if it is perceived as being widespread, they certainly care. Which means if it is being covered in a public forum with substantial exposure, they have a strong incentive to respond to it.
 

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (1)

xenapan (1012909) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192232)

Isnt the Kinect requiring game + Kinect indicitive of the Xbox360 Kinect using market?

Its not like people are going to buy GAMES without an Xbox to play them... The only way you would have a problem is when people purchase their initial Kinect without games from one location then buy games in another.

Anyhow, as far as I can see, MS basically used reverse psychology to get a bunch of smart people to do their work for them.
a) the Kinect makes money for every sale. It ISNT being sold at a loss. (Non Xbox users = larger market = more market share in a possibly new niche in the movement controlled interface)
b) Theres no such thing as bad publicity. Especially if its just playing into the existing MS image of we get to do what we want in terms of locking down our hardware. If it really becomes problematic, they have been enforcing it previously. If it isnt problematic, people are talking about it, experimenting with it. That can only help sales not hurt them. I mean the XBox had the red ring of death issue so widespread but how many people have you heard of giving up on Xbox as a platform? Certainly not enough to make a dent in MS' profit margin or the Kinect would have been abandoned or just kept as a proof of concept like the MS surface
c) hardware hackers will probably come up with stuff MS hasnt thought of. aka new uses for the Kinect.

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (1)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192524)

The number of people who will use this thing for other than its intended purpose will be in the thousands, not the millions. So what are they worrying about?

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (5, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191708)

I guess the problem might be replacing Kinect with a different device presenting itself as Kinect to XBox. This way you'd gain unfair advantage in online games - where your fitness, physical condition and body momentum would restrict you normally, you could use, say, a key to deliver lightning fast kicks, or duck to the ground faster than gravitational acceleration would normally let you.

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191812)

..... or just buy a cheap knock-off of the Kinect.

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192174)

Not that much of a problem - Kinect is sold just above costs, and if it sells more games, the goal has been achieved.

Re:Kinect Tamper-Resistance (1)

index0 (1868500) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192786)

You mean you could send a signal to the xbox where you could kick or fire as fast as you could, say press a button? ....

Hey, congrats (-1, Troll)

wampus (1932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191562)

Now what exactly can this do that any shitty webcam can't?

Re:Hey, congrats (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191628)

Sense depth and produce a heat map, for starters.

Re:Hey, congrats (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191630)

Depth perception.

I wonder how well it would perform under horticultural LED lighting with no green emissions.

Re:Hey, congrats (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192140)

are you suggesting you are a *cough* tomato plant *cough*?

Re:Hey, congrats (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192468)

No, I'm suggesting it for the large horticultural production systems I design for large food production companies.

Re:Hey, congrats (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191648)

Wow, you didn't even watch the video. Well, it apparently knows depth/distance among other sensory data. Robotics applications should be obvious (as also stated in the video) but I'm sure there are pornographic uses as well.

Re:Hey, congrats (5, Funny)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192050)

Just think.. your fav porn site can now see just how hard your spanking your monkey, and suggest videos based upon how much you enjoyed previous ones from that genre.

Re:Hey, congrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192302)

lolololololol almost spit coke on my laptop haha

Re:Hey, congrats (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192476)

My kingdom for modpoints.

Re:Hey, congrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192844)

They could always bring back Clippy:

"It looks like you're trying to abuse yourself. Would you like assistance with pornographic material? Yes No"

Re:Hey, congrats (5, Insightful)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191650)

Measure depth. And capture 4-channel audio with spatial location and echo cancellation (unconfirmed but likely). It also moves up and down and has an accelerometer. People are mostly interested in the depth thing, though.

Re:Hey, congrats (2, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191698)

marcan, Will we have a wii port ? :)

Re:Hey, congrats (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191910)

Congrats with the hack & bounty marcan! It seems that nothing is unhackable in your hands, well done!

Wrong question. (2, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191654)

The question should be:
"Now what exactly can this do that any shitty 18-axis joystick can't?"

That's the kind of data you receive on the cable. Just like with optical mice, you don't have access to raw imaging device output, only processed through the image recognition layer.

Re:Wrong question. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191978)

The Kinect sends out two video feeds to be processed by the Xbox. One normal and the other a depth map.

Re:Wrong question. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192062)

Do you actually get the pose estimate parameters? That would be awesome. I had assumed that was being done in software on the XBox 360, and this just gives you the video and depth field (which is awesome in itself).

Re:Wrong question. (2, Interesting)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192158)

Good comparison. So all you get down the cable is a stream of contoured mapped, heat mapped full colour video? I can see that being useful.

I wonder what would happen to a legal argument like "Hello. I've taken this device and stripped it down to the bare essentials. I have added a firewall to prevent it from connecting to any Microsoft owned server in any way. I no longer consider it to be a reasonable description of a Kinect. Now look at the cool stuff I've done with it..."

Wow... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191574)

Wow he got a webcam to work on his laptop! Amazing!

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191744)

Yeah, but its a linux laptop. I've never gotten a webcam to work on a linux laptop. I can't even get it to sleep when I close the lid...

Re:Wow... (2, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191850)

You're closing it wrong.

Oh, shoot, wrong product...

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191786)

FTFA: It has a depth sensor with the same resolution as the .

Here come the patent threats... (1, Redundant)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191646)

What'll you bet that Microsoft rushes out a new, less hackable version. There aren't so many of these in the field that it wouldn't be worth their while. Or are they just planning on using patent takedowns to make it illegal to work with the data stream produced by a Kinect box?

Which brings up an interesting (to me, at least) topic. Once you buy a product that legally implements a patent, aren't you implicitly granted a license to use that patent? To me, if you have, for example, a license to have an exchange-based email account, you've got implicit license on all patents governing access to that account (or at least access to features covered by the account license). Otherwise, what value does the account license have? Likewise, having bought a PC with a (paid for) Windows license covering codec patents, etc, why do I not have an implicit patent license to access those codecs (at least on the machine for which I bought the license). Come to think of it, in the case of the 'decode' side of a codec, why doesn't the encoder's patent license enable me to decode the stream with the software of my choosing? In each case, somebody's paid to use these patents. It sure feels like in all these 'creator vs viewer' situations, we're getting double-charged on patent rights, no?

Re:Here come the patent threats... (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191760)

Generally licenses state that they are non-transferrable. Meaning they are given for a particular implementation of a work. For instance, you don't license the account, you license the software to access the account (which may contain a license forbidding modification of that software). As far as codecs, the same applies. You are not given a license to the patent, but an implementation of that patent. Re-implementing requires a new patent license.

Re:Here come the patent threats... (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191870)

I get that, but I'm not sure why the patent office allows it. It's anti-competitive, and double-charging. Sure, if they can get away with it, they will.

In the case of exchange, I'm licensing both pieces of software. Who's to say which piece implements the patent? At some point interoperability demands that wire protocols be implementable, and as long as I'm a paid-up exchange user, I shouldn't have to pay again to implement it.

And in the case of codecs, the value of the patented idea ought to be the quality of the files it produces. And the producer of those files paid a license for the software that produced them. Making me buy a license to consume them is anti-competitive. Especially if the producer and consumer implementations are from the same company.

More naive rambling, I know...

Re:Here come the patent threats... (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191828)

Simple, the EULA protects the closed-source vendors, not you, the consumer from "misuse" of their shitty product. Every EULA is essentially a list of occurrences that they did not, would not, or could not code for, as well as a promise that you, the consumer, are the vendor's personal bitch and you aren't really allowed to use their products in the first place, but since you paid they'll let you for a limited time, until they can get you to upgrade to the next closed-release of their POS software. THIS is why I only buy used games and support all FOSS in the enterprise and in the home. Stick THAT in your drive and boot it, MS!

Re:Here come the patent threats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192294)

EULAs do not have and are not intended to have the force of contracts. Their only purpose is to give notice that a publisher has rights (copyright) and that they reserve these rights. Notice turns out to be really important when it comes to litigation, showing intent, assessing damage, etc.

Re:Here come the patent threats... (4, Insightful)

IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191896)

Or Microsoft won't do anything to stop this since they really don't care.

So... where's the motion sensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34191686)

All I saw was a webcam and IR video output. People were thinking 2 grand was too low a bounty... now I'm thinking, he got 2K for that?? Doesn't seem very useful unless this hack can also get to the processed gesture data. Or is all the processing done on the XBox?

Re:So... where's the motion sensing? (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191730)

Yes, all of the processing is pure software. The original prototype did that on a separate processor on the hardware, but they removed that to cut down on the per-piece price (sacrificing performance and accuracy in the process).

Re:So... where's the motion sensing? (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192770)

The final device still does a ridiculous amount of processing onboard, compared to just about every other peripheral out there. In order to get the depth map, it has to analyze the IR picture (which is quite different from a depth map) and extract contour and depth info from the density of the IR point cloud. This is being done in the PrimeSense SoC chip.

There is also a Marvell SoC chip in charge of audio processing and echo cancellation. I believe it might also be responsible for triangulation of the audio source.

The processing to get gesture data and do voice recognition is software, but don't underestimate the amount of processing going on in the device just to get the depth map and echo-canceled cooked audio.

Re:So... where's the motion sensing? (4, Informative)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192010)

See that depth image on the left in the vid? That's worth it's weight in unobtainium oxide to roboticists.

Really Important For Hobby Robotics! (5, Interesting)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34191902)

This guy is on the way to solving the three main problems of personal robotics:
1. Indoor localization (figure out where you are inside)
2. Indoor navigation
3. Table top manipulation

There are already open source software packages for all of these items, but they require very expensive laser scanners (starting at 5K a pop). Most of these lasers only scan one row at a time, which means that for situations where you want 3D, you have to tilt the scanner up and down. This is a hassle and leads to slow scan times, which reduces the responsiveness of the robot.

For indoor localization, what you really want is just a line of points at a fixed height (you could extract one row of Kinect depth pixels) that you can feed to particle filers to figure out position in a mapped space. You might also be able to use opensource SLAM software, wheel encoders, and a Kinect to make 2D and 3D maps of indoor environments.

For indoor navigation, you can use 2D navigation planners to figure out plans through maps, and then use indoor localization to follow the plans. The Kinect can serve as an obstacle detector in addition to the providing data to the localizer. For example, if a person or animal jumps in front of the robot, the Kinect will sense it, and allow the robot to stop instantly and plan a new route. With a tilting laser, the reaction time would be slower, because laser might be in an orientation where it does not see the obstacle.

For table top manipulation, the Kinect can provide a point cloud of the objects on the table. CV software can remove the background (table, wall, etc.) and then detect the objects on the table. Once this is done, motion planners can plan a route for an arm or other manipulator to pick up objects on the table.

Once we have all three of these systems, it should not be all that hard to link them together and start actually doing useful things with robots in our homes. Even just the first two would make it possible useful cleaning and sentry robots.

Re:Really Important For Hobby Robotics! (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192090)

Another very cool application would be a 3d object digitizer (say you want to put a 3d model of your own face into a video game). Instead of building a 3d model manually in e.g. 3d Studio Max (extremely laborious), you just turn the object over a few times and it combines the visual and depth fields to make a 3d, texture-mapped model of the object.

This is somewhat possible without the depth field, but vastly more accurate (and easy) with it.

Re:Really Important For Hobby Robotics! (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192180)

Another good idea. I'm not aware of any opensource 3D model generators, but I think you might be able to find one/write one. You could have spinning turntable on which was placed (although this would be a hassle for people) or have some kind of spinning ring with the kinect on it.

Re:Really Important For Hobby Robotics! (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192528)

It should be pretty easy to use inter-frame correlations to scan an object in 3D just by rotating it in front of the camera if you do it slowly enough. The only problem would be that your fingers would be scanned as well. You'd probably have to do two runs with different finger positions and combine them.

The only possible caveat would be the depth resolution of the camera. From the video, you can see that there's a pretty large minimum distance, how accurate is the sensor at that range?

Can I ask what in the hell is wrong with you? (4, Funny)

apparently (756613) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192178)

Once we have all three of these systems, it should not be all that hard to link them together and start actually doing useful things with robots in our homes. Even just the first two would make it possible useful cleaning and sentry robots.

We theoretically approach useful home robotics, and your first thought is cleaning? Followed by sentry duties? What about the ole in-out-in-out, man? Where in the hell are your priorities?
"Cleaning." I swear some people are just too happy to announce to the world "Hey, look at me! I have zero sense of imagination! Look how practical I am!"

Re:Really Important For Hobby Robotics! (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192594)

Kinect seems to be one of those products that is really innovative. MS has put together technology that would be useful in many situations. So the question is why are they selling it as a toy and why are they selling it for only $150.

On the later, if anyone thinks that $150 pays all costs on this thing they are out of their mind. I think on hardware we are used to MS not transferring development costs to the consumer. However, the xBox is a successful product, so I think we are going to see more of MS expecting to get a more immediate return on investments. They probably did figure to recoup costs on sales, while the profit would come from increased sales of other higher margin products, much like the giving MS Windows to the OEM, and making money off Office.

The toy is a cleaver ploy. It has always been the case that toys are at the forefront of technology. The thing about a toy, unlike a business computer, is that it does not always have to work, and it has the freedom of being free for all innovative. That was what was so cool about everyone calling Mac a toy way back when. It kind of validated it as a truly innovate concept. Kinect is the same thing. It has the freedom to not quite work perfectly, but gives MS the opportunity to test and refine the design. Eventually if MS can figure out to make use of it, we will see it on robot and business devices. This is essentially what we are seeing with iOS. Apple is prototyping it's next OS on toys.

OK now bring on the PS3, Wii,Linux and indie games (1)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192392)

OK now bring on the PS3, Wii,Linux and indie games before MS brings on their own.

<evil grin>

If I were microsoft... (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192580)

Id keep up my whining but do nothing, while I take notes on "innovative" ways to exploit the technology as people develop on it for free.

Then take their idea and if they complain, threaten them for breaking the EULA, or something along those lines.

Kinect's beginings included hacking Wii hardware (1)

TimTucker (982832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192694)

When you look back to Kinect's beginnings, this news is somewhat more interesting in the light that the original "Project Natal" team that came up with it included Johnny Chung Lee (noted for Wii-mote hacks he did at Carnegie Mellon before working for Microsoft):

http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/06/12/0450237/Why-Natal-Is-a-Big-Deal [slashdot.org]

If I were MS, Sony, or Nintendo, I'd be paying close attention to people in the community that start doing interesting things with this and put them on my short-list for recruiting people to develop next-generation hardware.

What about the other hardware (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#34192774)

This is the camera and IR depth sensor but has anyone figured out how to talk to the microphones, electric motor and other stuff in there yet?

Captcha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192796)

Hey, can we get the captcha they have on adafruit here on /.? That thing is awesome.

And what about the $10k the other guy wanted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34192812)

He's gonna feel pretty silly, rejecting the $3k and asking for donations to make it $10k.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?