Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Nov 2010 23:21 UTC
Games Ah, Microsoft's Kinect. Now that the technology has been released into the wild, one thing becomes clear: hackers and programmers love it. It's already been hacked to work on Linux and the Mac, and the first interesting hobby projects are starting to appear. Since Microsoft has already stated it's selling Kinect at a profit, I'm going to make a bold statement: Microsoft is loving the hackery. Update: Turns out I was right - Microsoft has stated that Kinect was left open by design.
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Kinnect for PC
by ramasubbu_sk on Fri 19th Nov 2010 23:59 UTC
ramasubbu_sk
Member since:
2007-04-05

I would love to have Kinnect connected to my PC and have lot of games & apps in it ;)

Reply Score: 2

3D
by Moredhas on Sat 20th Nov 2010 00:17 UTC
Moredhas
Member since:
2008-04-10

I think the Kinnect will be more interesting when 3D displays finally become good. You could interact in "real" 3D space with things, and that might change the way we use our computers.

Reply Score: 3

RE: 3D
by Phloptical on Sat 20th Nov 2010 01:35 UTC in reply to "3D"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

That would definitely give me cause to buy a 3D monitor/TV. Right now, to me it's a useless fad.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: 3D
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 20th Nov 2010 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE: 3D"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

That would definitely give me cause to buy a 3D monitor/TV. Right now, to me it's a useless fad.


Now there's an idea. To hell with Minority Report, it could make the UI from the Iron Man films a reality. It's at least more appealing than the future envisioned here:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2005/20050314l.jpg

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: 3D
by Elv13 on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 04:13 UTC in reply to "RE: 3D"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

to me, it's not even working, so useless is kind of good

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 3D no value seen here yet either
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: 3D"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Every movie has to be released in 3D and now 3D TVs for one's own home. I've yet to see any movie make real use of 3D. It's always there as a gimic; does not advance the story, does not enhance realism. It's a "look, we can film with two cameras" show and tell.

I've also not yet seen a 3D technology that works without binocular vision. If you have less than two perfectly functioning eyes, your not getting 3D.

The mass media and tv vendors can come talk to me again when 3D is not binocular limited and does something to actually enhance the content being viewed.

Reply Score: 2

Are you sure about that?
by robojerk on Sat 20th Nov 2010 00:35 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

Kinect Hack Makes Microsoft Angry, Deny its Existence
http://www.pcworld.com/article/210496/kinect_hack_makes_microsoft_a...

If MS is happy now, it's because they know they can't stop the hacking community and see that they're actually doing cool things with it.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Are you sure about that?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 20th Nov 2010 00:42 UTC in reply to "Are you sure about that?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

They have to disapprove to ward off possible claims if someone like blows up his Kinect in the process.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Are you sure about that?
by Morgan on Sat 20th Nov 2010 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Are you sure about that?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not to mention keeping investors and shareholders happy.

Just like antivirus companies who publicly denounce virus writing black hats as criminals, but within the company walls they are quite happy that the black hats are keeping them in business.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Are you sure about that?
by jhominal on Sat 20th Nov 2010 04:27 UTC in reply to "Are you sure about that?"
jhominal Member since:
2009-07-07

I would have replied that too, but…

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20023455-52.html

"Microsoft reverses course, says Kinect left open by 'design'"

Reply Score: 6

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I would have replied that too, but…

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13772_3-20023455-52.html

"Microsoft reverses course, says Kinect left open by 'design'"


Very mixed messages from Microsoft re: Kinnect

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/11/19/microsoft-now-says-its-insp...

The story so far:
first:
MICROSOFT: “Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,” a company spokesperson told CNET. “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant”.


second:
MICROSOFT: “Kinect for Xbox 360 has not been hacked–in any way–as the software and hardware that are part of Kinect for Xbox 360 have not been modified. What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360. The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported. We strongly encourage customers to use Kinect for Xbox 360 with their Xbox 360 to get the best experience possible.”


latest:
Kinect interface was left unprotected ‘by design” and they’re “inspired’ by community finding new uses.”


http://twitter.com/scifri/status/5722901688877056

Funny. ;)

PS: None of these pronouncements actually contradict one another, but they still managed to sound like they have totally back-flipped.

Edited 2010-11-21 10:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

None of these pronouncements actually contradict one another, but they still managed to sound like they have totally back-flipped.


I realize this is difficult for your brain to grasp, but they were referring to actual anti-tampering to thwart product modifications, not implementing a driver. The driver is perhaps the least interesting part of the package.

Reply Score: 2

callinyouin Member since:
2008-12-15

He likely mentions the statements don't contradict each other BECAUSE he understands them.
Why do people feel the need to go out of their way to insult anything and everything people say on the Internet? Just because they can?
I would have moded you down, but for some reason the system won't let me.
Troll, go home.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Are you sure about that?
by Valhalla on Sat 20th Nov 2010 06:43 UTC in reply to "Are you sure about that?"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

Kinect Hack Makes Microsoft Angry, Deny its Existence
http://www.pcworld.com/article/210496/kinect_hack_makes_microsoft_a...

That strikes me more as a knee-jerk reaction on Microsofts side. Probably someone thought it was a modification of the x360 kinect software. While I'm not so sure Microsoft actually makes money on this device (atleast not in the short run) I think they recognize the publicity that comes along with this will get more eyeballs on Kinetic in general which is of course great for them.

As a geek, I think it's really cool and I hope we see some interesting/useful tools to tap into the capacity this device holds. The wii remote was hacked and there was a flurry of stuff playing around with it but this device is imo WAAAAY cooler and I'm really looking forward to seeing what people can come up with. Being interested in 3d I'm already seeing discussions of using it as a poor-man's mocap device.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Are you sure about that?
by JAlexoid on Sat 20th Nov 2010 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Are you sure about that?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

While I'm not so sure Microsoft actually makes money on this device

You mean like a statement from a Microsoft exec leaves you unsure? Nice! (Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft's interactive entertainmen)
RTFA for once....

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Are you sure about that?
by Valhalla on Sun 21st Nov 2010 01:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Are you sure about that?"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


You mean like a statement from a Microsoft exec leaves you unsure? Nice! (Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft's interactive entertainmen)
RTFA for once....

Assuming you weren't ironic, then no, any proclamation by any exec of any company regarding their own finances and products does NOT convince me. Especially when you come across stuff like this:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/storage/reviews/showArticle.jht...

With this hugely expensive marketing campaign, again I have my doubts that that this device is making Microsoft any money (again, atleast in the short run), but I'm certain it increases Microsoft's next gen console market share which is most likely it's main purpose.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Are you sure about that?
by JAlexoid on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 15:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Are you sure about that?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19


Assuming you weren't ironic, then no, any proclamation by any exec of any company regarding their own finances and products does NOT convince me. Especially when you come across stuff like this:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/storage/reviews/showArticle.jht...

With this hugely expensive marketing campaign, again I have my doubts that that this device is making Microsoft any money (again, atleast in the short run), but I'm certain it increases Microsoft's next gen console market share which is most likely it's main purpose.


Well unless you are a stock holder, then you shouldn't care...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Are you sure about that?
by tomcat on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Are you sure about that?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Are you aware how small $259M is to a company the size of Microsoft or Google?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by agnus
by agnus on Sat 20th Nov 2010 00:57 UTC
agnus
Member since:
2006-05-10

These are my thoughts also. This is free marketing (plus free research) for Microsoft so they must be loving it.

Edited 2010-11-20 00:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

The Tech Belongs to PrimeSense
by delta0.delta0 on Sat 20th Nov 2010 02:22 UTC
delta0.delta0
Member since:
2010-06-01

Hi Thom,

It will not be Microsoft bringing this to tvs but it will be primesense. The hardware technology belongs to primesense an Israeli company and they still own it and all of the corresponding patents etc..

<------------------------------->
http://www.primesense.com/

PrimeSense™ supplies 3D-sensing technology to 'Project Natal' for Xbox 360

Ground-Breaking Optical Sensing and Recognition Technologies to Aid Gesture Control Platform. Read more!


http://www.primesense.com/?p=514

The PrimeSensor™ Reference Design is an end-to-end solution that enables a computer to perceive the world in three-dimensions and to translate these perceptions into a synchronized depth image, in the same way that humans do. The solution includes a sensor component, which observes the scene (users and their surroundings), and a perception component, or brain, which comprehends the user interaction within these surroundings.

<--------------------------------->



In fact if you look at the primesense design, they use higher resolution cameras and their system can detect finger movement. It will be primesense that will add this tech to tvs and other devices, Microsoft have only bought rights to use the primesense reference design.

To also just further prove this to you:


<------------------------>
http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Microsoft-Kinect-Teardown/4066/2

Step 11
This is a Prime Sense diagram explaining how their reference platform works. The Kinect is the first (and only) implementation of this platform.
One camera (and one IR transmitter) provide input for the depth map (rumored to be just 320x240), while the third camera detects the human visual spectrum at 640x480 resolution.
We have heard claims that the system can measure distance within 1cm of accuracy at two meters. While that's great in concept, early reviews are showing that you don't get anywhere near that accuracy in the real world—yet.

<------------------------>

It would be so nice if you actually researched the technology first...

Reply Score: 7

RE: The Tech Belongs to PrimeSense
by Timmmm on Sun 21st Nov 2010 16:30 UTC in reply to "The Tech Belongs to PrimeSense"
Timmmm Member since:
2006-07-25

It would be so nice if you actually researched the technology first...


Yes it would be nice if you researched the technology first. The hardware was created by PrimeSense, but the people-tracking software was written by Microsoft. That's a pretty significant part of Kinect (assuming you're using it as a human input device), and recreating it would be a massive project.

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

What's next, pretending to be the p.r. rep?

Why not just write an editorial with a proper headline?

Reply Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13


Why not just write an editorial with a proper headline?


LOL, too true. It's like putting up an article about a rumor, and not ending the headline with a question mark.

Anyway, about the Kinect and PC connectivity, can you do anything really useful with it, or is it just for the 'gee whiz' factor at the moment?

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Anyway, about the Kinect and PC connectivity, can you do anything really useful with it, or is it just for the 'gee whiz' factor at the moment?


You can do the same that Kinect + XBox360 does. Additionally you could use it in robotics to create manipulators, that don't knock off things when reaching for them, at home....

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

You can do the same that Kinect + XBox360 does. Additionally you could use it in robotics to create manipulators, that don't knock off things when reaching for them, at home....


I was thinking more as an end user, not as a dev.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

My first thought was a computer+konect watching a TV+konect. The hard part would be getting it to use gestures to control the TV it was "watching".

Reply Score: 2

and related market stuff
by bnolsen on Sat 20th Nov 2010 09:57 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

here's what MS actually acquired very recently. This company produces much higher grade ranging chips:

http://canesta.com/

Reply Score: 2

RE: and related market stuff
by bornagainenguin on Sun 21st Nov 2010 03:18 UTC in reply to "and related market stuff"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

bnolsen declared...

here's what MS actually acquired very recently. This company produces much higher grade ranging chips:

http://canesta.com/


Interesting. So what the true story may be is that Microsoft doesn't care too much about the kinect v1 because they fully intend to release a kinect v2 using the Canesta chips which will be locked down and noncompatible with all the progress made with the v1 kinect. If they do this properly they would make it difficult enough to detect which chipset is in use or have multiple revisions of the hardware like the WiFi manufactures used to do...

Make it difficult enough to know what hardware will do what and people will lose interest in doing this type of thing rather quickly and blame the open source developers for not being able to keep up...

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: and related market stuff
by bnolsen on Sun 21st Nov 2010 03:48 UTC in reply to "RE: and related market stuff"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

Nah, they just want the 44 patents from canesta. If anyone tries to make money off using the kinect MS will sue them into oblivion. It's possible MS may take the hobbyist ideas and deploy those themselves with the patent umbrella as protection.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: and related market stuff
by tomcat on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: and related market stuff"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Nah, they just want the 44 patents from canesta. If anyone tries to make money off using the kinect MS will sue them into oblivion. It's possible MS may take the hobbyist ideas and deploy those themselves with the patent umbrella as protection.


And you've got to give them a lot of credit here. Indirect sensing technology is going to be HUGE. Whoever controls the patents has an advantage.

Reply Score: 2

Embracement Wanted
by ephracis on Sun 21st Nov 2010 00:49 UTC
ephracis
Member since:
2007-09-23

It would be lovely if the hacking of devices was not only "not hated", but encouraged by companies such as Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Nintendo, etc, etc.

But that's just a geek dream, I guess. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Embracement Wanted
by lucas_maximus on Sun 21st Nov 2010 12:07 UTC in reply to "Embracement Wanted"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Unfortunately they have to cover their own backsides legally.

If they encouraged people to hack stuff and they electricuted themselves or burn down their house ... Microsoft/Apple/Nvidia/HTC/<insert tech company> would be exposing themselves potentially to culpability.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Embracement Wanted - Backside BS
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Embracement Wanted"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think the "cover our backsides" claims are overstated. We can't open our hardware up else we'll get flooded with support calls. Our user experience will suffer. BS. A company can find a way to do it if they have even minimal interest.

I submit Nokia. I can add a non-Nokia repository but I have to add it. I have to click "ok, download this and add it" or go in by hand and enter the three pieces of information. When I install a non-Nokia program package, I get a warning; "this program was not produced by Nokia and may cause damage to your device". I can still install it but I'm very opt-in to accepting the non-Nokia code. If I decide I want full access to the device, I just go into the list of available programs and install "Rootsh"; doesn't matter the OS version, doesn't matter the hardware version. Enabling root access should be an easy opt-in not this "jailbreak" drama that goes on with Iphones and MotorolaAndroid, ATTAndroid and all the other vendor trashed Android installs.

It would really be easy for a company to make it clear that they supported hacking. "here's our produce, show us what you can make it do that we didn't think of." Manual opt-in methods work as do signage which. "I installed this program and it broke my phone" - 'We are very sad to hear that but you also had to click through several warnings and enable your phone's ability to install that program."

The protests about overwhelmed support staff and call centers and impending legal downfall of civilization as we know are overstated BS.

Reply Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I think the "cover our backsides" claims are overstated. We can't open our hardware up else we'll get flooded with support calls. Our user experience will suffer. BS. A company can find a way to do it if they have even minimal interest.

I submit Nokia. I can add a non-Nokia repository but I have to add it. I have to click "ok, download this and add it" or go in by hand and enter the three pieces of information. When I install a non-Nokia program package, I get a warning; "this program was not produced by Nokia and may cause damage to your device". I can still install it but I'm very opt-in to accepting the non-Nokia code. If I decide I want full access to the device, I just go into the list of available programs and install "Rootsh"; doesn't matter the OS version, doesn't matter the hardware version. Enabling root access should be an easy opt-in not this "jailbreak" drama that goes on with Iphones and MotorolaAndroid, ATTAndroid and all the other vendor trashed Android installs.

It would really be easy for a company to make it clear that they supported hacking. "here's our produce, show us what you can make it do that we didn't think of." Manual opt-in methods work as do signage which. "I installed this program and it broke my phone" - 'We are very sad to hear that but you also had to click through several warnings and enable your phone's ability to install that program."

The protests about overwhelmed support staff and call centers and impending legal downfall of civilization as we know are overstated BS.


The warning is on the nokia phone is there to cover their backsides, you broke your phone == nokia won't fix it for you. It cost them money to support their phones and its software. So they won't support 3rd party apps ... you are on your own ... doesn't mean they are supporting hacking a device ... they are turning a blind eye. Which is a huge difference.

Nice one for invalidating your own arguement.

Edited 2010-11-23 11:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

They placed a "this is third party software" warning on the phone then threw a "hack our phone" conference handing out free developer units and encouraging a an OSS community. The N800, N810 and N900 where specked out for the Maemo hacker community; N900's sales actually suffered because it was too hacky a device for general users. Nokia made a conscious and public effort to release more of Maemo under open source licenses with each version.

I'd think "turning a blind eye" would be more like Apple and the Hackintosh folks; they denounce it publicly and go after any business involved but so far have chosen not to go after individual home users.

Maybe the public perception is different from the internal message given to staff but somehow I suspect not.

Reply Score: 2

Kinect magic is the software.
by Ravyne on Sun 21st Nov 2010 01:09 UTC
Ravyne
Member since:
2006-01-08

Microsoft's investment in Kinect has basically nothing to do with the hardware itself -- Kinnect is based on a reference design that was already built -- Microsoft just licensed it.

The Kinect "magic" if you will, is the software that takes raw camera and depth-sensor input and maps it into a skeleton structure that is easy to deal with for devs, in it's ability to deal with background noise, in its ability to infer certain things when the data is not complete and in the facial/body recognition, among other things.

Microsoft will very likely be bringing this technology to PCs -- the only thing stopping them now is that the PC is a "6-inch experience" while the TV/Console is a "6-foot experience" -- there's simply not as much you can do at short range without re-jiggering the software (for example, Kinnect at 6-feet can't distinguish fingers, so it doesn't -- while this would be a necessity for any up-close interaction) and possibly the hardware (to give it more focus close up).

I don't doubt, though, that Microsoft may release an official PC driver for Windows Media Center applications relatively soon with all the magic intact.

Reply Score: 3

Please people...
by vodoomoth on Sun 21st Nov 2010 19:09 UTC
vodoomoth
Member since:
2010-03-30

I know I am going to be voted down numerous times but please people, learn to read! We've seen that stupid "Kinect" word dozens and dozens of times; What's its number of occurrences in the news item? Yet, some write it as "Kinnect". What's the problem with the double "n" thing? OK, the word is weird (I can only assume those who came up with the name were trying to make a reference to "kinetic"), but "iPhone" is even more strange and it never stopped people from capitalizing the second letter.

Reply Score: 3

who will be faster?
by failshell on Sun 21st Nov 2010 19:29 UTC
failshell
Member since:
2010-11-21

I would bet the open source community will have way cooler things done with it faster than the game industry.

Reply Score: 1

RE: who will be faster?
by tomcat on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 19:10 UTC in reply to "who will be faster?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I would bet the open source community will have way cooler things done with it faster than the game industry.


Yeah, because the best games come out in the open source community first. Oh, wait...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: who will be faster? - sort of
by jabbotts on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 20:48 UTC in reply to "RE: who will be faster?"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The open source folk will explore what the hardware can be made to do. The game developers will cherry-pick demonstrated ideas they like best.

Reply Score: 2

The question is why....
by TemporalBeing on Mon 22nd Nov 2010 19:18 UTC
TemporalBeing
Member since:
2007-08-22

Okay, so Microsoft may have made it easy to use the interface to their Kinect hardware without having to tamper with the hardware itself - e.g. no funny business to use it, as say with Windows-only Printers and Modems.

And Microsoft seems to be happy b/c they are making a profit on each sale. Though the question is why are they making a profit? Were they able to find the lowest priced hardware that could turn out a product that was just good enough to get people hooked, perhaps needing replacement every year or two? Or were they able to get the costs down to a profitable level? Or did they sell advertisers on the ability to tell them who was in the room watching (or not) the TV?

So perhaps the reason it is profitable is not b/c of games, but b/c of the advertising dollars it brings in. Thus, they are hoping people will put it on their Windows PCs where drivers will then expand the audience to include the PCs as well. Sure, they lose out (for now) on the Linux market, and perhaps the Mac market too (until they push out a Mac driver to do what they do on Windows). But they think that market is small enough that they can still sell the advertising - and thus make money. Perhaps even their advertising contracts include a per-device sold fee too.

Sure, there's a lot of conjecture there. But if you think I'm silly, then you should just research what Microsoft and its execs have said about using the Kinect for advertising.

Privacy beware.

Reply Score: 2