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Microsoft To Begin Aiding Kinect Hackers With Toolkit
Microsoft To Begin Aiding Kinect Hackers With Toolkit –
Seems that Microsoft has taken a interest in the latest lawsuits of Geohot and other actions against modders and are now allowing modding of the kinect system. Can't say this is not a coincidence at this time. While Sony is busy suing over users modding there hardware Microsoft will be releasing a development kit for there kincet system. Now only if Sony could see this potential instead of suing people modifying there own hardware!
Microsoft Moves to Aid Kinect Hackers - Digits - WSJ
Microsoft is finally moving to embrace the growing community of tinkerers who have cooked up creative uses for its Kinect motion-sensing camera on PCs.
Kinect was demonstrated at a Microsoft event Monday.Within the next couple of months, the company says it plans to release a toolkit, known as a software development kit, that will allow programmers to design software for Windows 7 PCs that can exploit Kinect, a hit device from Microsoft that has so far been used to play games for the Xbox 360 console. Over the holidays, Microsoft shipped more than 8 million Kinects, which allow Xbox players to use body movements to control games and without holding a traditional controller.
The toolkit is Microsoft’s effort to jump in front of a parade of programmers that have already cobbled together their own software, without Microsoft’s permission, to make Kinect applications for PCs. A lot of these programmers have posted videos of their Kinect hacks online, including someone who transforms a stick in his hands into a Star Wars-like light saber and another person who controls an animal using hand-puppet gestures.
Microsoft executives announced their plan at a meeting with a small group of press at the company’s Redmond, Wash., campus intended to showcase interesting technologies it’s cooking up its research labs. Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief strategy and research officer, said Microsoft wants to enable Kinect developers to create more and better applications using the company’s toolkit, including in fields like physical therapy.
“We think we’ll see a huge explosion in interest,” Mundie said. “We’ll welcome that and support it.”
When the Kinect hacks first started to appear months ago, Microsoft executives at first seemed a bit unsure of the trend. Some speculated that was because of the possibility that a thriving ecosystem of applications for Kinect on PCs, where Microsoft doesn’t traditionally collect a royalty for independently created applications, could steal sales from Kinect games for Xbox 360, where it does collect royalties.
Don Mattrick, president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, said the reason it has taken Microsoft awhile to come out with an official Kinect toolkit for PCs is that the company simply had enough on its plate launching the device for the Xbox 360.
Still, the company won’t say yet whether or how it plans to make money directly from Kinect applications for the PC. The initial toolkit will be aimed at “academics and enthusiasts” who want to program Kinect, with a version of the toolkit aimed at commercial applications to be released at some point in the future. Mattrick declined to say whether it will charge Kinect programmers for the PC a royalty for commercial products.
Whatever its pricing plans are, the toolkit could help Microsoft expand the market for Kinects to the hundreds of millions of people with Windows 7 PCs from the more than 40 million Xbox 360s that have been sold so far.