Microsoft Pretends They Were Down With Kinect Hacking All Along

Surely you’ve seen your share of Kinect hacks in the last little while – hell, even last week I posted a couple here on Techi. Microsoft was originally not down with this, and implied potential legal action against anyone modifying their device.

But it seems they’ve now had a change of heart, claming Kinect was always ‘open by design’, and that they’re happy to have folks write all sorts of drivers for all manner of Kinect-based ballyhoo. “What has happened,” says Microsoft’s Alex Kipman to NPR, “is someone wrote an open-source driver for PCs that essentially opens the USB connection, which we didn’t protect by design, and reads the inputs from the sensor.” Emphasis definitely mine.

So what’s the deal then, Microsoft? Did you recognize a good publicity opportunity when you saw it? I guess, in the long run, we shouldn’t ask questions – they’re on our side now, and we (read: you) are free to make the Kinect dance and sing however you like. That’s so rad, I’m gonna show you a guy with a Kinect lightsaber.


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Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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  • hahahha, amazing!

  • sab0tage

    When did writing software become hacking?

  • @sab0tage a long time ago

  • Jo Dean

    OK this makes a lot of sense dude. Wow.

  • ntlgnce

    Just try to actually hack the kinect once, and see how far that gets you in court.. MS actually didnt put any security effort into keeping this thing from connecting to a computer (if they wanted they would have used a different connectore then what they did). Do you think these so called hackers are actually writing the code? In fact the code for this “hack” could be written by anyone with basic knowledge of drivers. So I am with Microsoft on this one.. The kinect is made to be plugged into a PC as well, and yes it was thought out. Microsoft only freaked out in the beginning because they thought that it was actually HACKED, which when the dust settled, it was NOT an actual hack, as it was a program to recognize the device. (which microsoft already has several pc programs to run the kinect, proving that yes the device was ment as a cross platform….

    • roam

      surely using a differant connector would mean a redesign for the xbox its self….?

      just saying

  • asd

    I hate how sites assume this shit. If Microsoft REALLY wanted to stop ppl from using on pc, they could do so, considering 80% of pcs are windows. Besides that, they obvs knew it would be plugged into a computer else they would of made it wireless like the controllers if they really cared. Microsoft are going to use kinect in windows 8, they wanted it get it out early for devs to do this exact stuff.

  • Steve

    Kinect… Ubuntu….. classic.

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