Monday, November 22, 2010

Hackers and scientists love Microsoft's Kinect

Posted By on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Hackers and scientists love to make Kinect, the 3-D gaming device for XBox game systems, do things it wasn't intended to do. At first, Microsoft responded by shaking their fists, but the company has settled back into the reality where a lot of bright minds working on new technology create, well, bright technology ... so, they've calmed down.

From The New York Times:

Companies respond to this kind of experimentation with their products in different ways — and Microsoft has had two very different responses since the Kinect was released on Nov. 4. It initially made vague threats about working with law enforcement to stop “product tampering.” But by last week, it was embracing the benevolent hackers.

“Anytime there is engagement and excitement around our technology, we see that as a good thing,” said Craig Davidson, senior director for Xbox Live at Microsoft. “It’s naïve to think that any new technology that comes out won’t have a group that tinkers with it.”

Microsoft and other companies would be wise to keep an eye on this kind of outside innovation and consider wrapping some of the creative advances into future products, said Loren Johnson, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan who follows digital media and consumer electronics.

“These adaptations could be a great benefit to their own bottom line,” he said. “It’s a trend that is undeniable, using public resources to improve on products, whether it be the Kinect or anything else.”

Read the entire article, by Jenna Wortham, here.

Here's one of the scientists who use the Kinect for their work with 3-D holograms:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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