Product development crowds – Kinect hacks

I have really enjoyed the explosion of Kinect hacks that have taken place in such a short period of time since the release of the Kinect. The technology of the Kinect is fascinating in its own right (you can read more from the actual engineers here)
However its the consumer use of the device on easily accessible devices that really is driving things forward. Previously games hardware is locked away with preferred developers, its hard for ideas to happen anywhere other than in the studios. Here however we have people trying out all sorts of demonstration applications, some are sensible, some are mad but they all really help drive forward the product development.
Microsoft were initially saying they were unhappy at this, but I find that hard to believe in this day and age as giving things over to people to experiment and share globally is crowd sourcing at its best.

Not every demo gets released as an opensource piece of code but many of them are using an open source base and a commercial product with the Kinect.
In many ways this will expose more people to the concept of open source development. Let face it most people would not really grok the open source and sharing interaction that goes together to make software like Linux or Droid or even Opensim. However when video pop up os a device they have only just seen in the shops and may indeed have, doing things that are not sat on the shelves of game shops it becomes very real and prompts the question how are they doing that? Why are they doing that? Why are some people just giving away what they have done?
No doubt the games developers are looking at all the hacks and getting seeds of ideas or seeing things as proof of concepts that will drive even better kinect games.

Kinect and motion sensing is not the be all and end all of Human computer interaction but it does work well for youtube and vimeo demonstrations and pushes the world forward. Now if the Kinect had been locked down as Xbox only and not hacked in this way there would have only been about 20 kinect applications whilst we wait on the more polished production of the the games companies.
Standards exist already as can be seen from this article from the excellent Kinect Hacks site which is a great place to follow this trend.

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