Microsoft’s controller-free gaming apparatus, Kinect for the Xbox 360, is selling gangbusters for the holiday season. But it seems like people are having more fun hacking the device to make it do strange and unexpected things than they are playing games on it. After flying around like a helicopter, presenting objects in 3D, or giving you a light saber, the latest Kinect hack is making you appear invisible.
Xbox 360 owners fear the Red Ring indicating a terminally broken system. But a new hack for Kinect is more like Frodo’s One Ring.
This latest Kinect hack was designed by Takayuki Fukatsu using Open Frameworks, a popular open source C++ coding toolkit. It has not yet been revealed how exactly the hack works, but one possible theory is that a picture of the background is first captured, then, when your body is detected, it replaces you with a transparency so the background is shown instead.
While not completely invisible, the user has an “optical camouflage” similar to the Predator alien hunter. Will this new hack result in millions of gamers inspiring Dutch to repeatedly shout at others to “get to the choppah!?” It depends on whether or not Microsoft will start embracing the Kinect technology for such alternate purposes. A dozen other game applications of this invisibility hack spring to mind for gamers that may fancy themselves as Ring Bearer, Ghost, or Hollow Man.
Officially, Microsoft says it “does not condone the modification of its product.” But despite claiming Kinect has “numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering,” it only took a few days after its release before the first Kinect hack appeared.
Undoubtedly, more Kinect hacks will continue to pop up online like this KinectBot and this Kinect used to play Super Mario. We’ll keep you apprised of the strange and innovative new uses for Microsoft’s motion-gaming device.