$1000 $2000 Bounty Offered For Open-Source Kinect Driver

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Image credit: Adafruit (it was too good not to use)

Let the reverse-engineering begin! Adafruit Industries is offering a thousand smackers for whoever can come up with an open-source driver for the Kinect hardware. They think that a non-Microsoft interface will help create interesting applications for the device, and I agree. We’ll have our impressions of the final hardware and launch games tomorrow, but we already know that whatever the future of the platform, it’s unlike anything else.

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/11/04/the-open-kinect-project-the-ok-prize-get-1000-bounty-for-kinect-for-xbox-360-open-source-drivers/

It’s not going to be easy, though. The Kinect hardware uses a proprietary 320×240 camera that senses the distance of every pixel, but I get the feeling it’s not that simple. Microsoft has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this thing, and I don’t think they’d leave their industry secrets blowing in the wind. It’ll be a hunt.

On the other hand, everyone who has ever underestimated the capability and resolve of the decentralized hacker network has been proved wrong. It might take a little time, but I believe an open source driver will be created, and I’m just going to throw out a guess, around a month and a half from now.

It’s a little disappointing that Microsoft isn’t shipping the Kinect with interesting Windows 7 integration — but I think we can safely assume that’s in the pipes. With the amount of money they’ve invested into this thing, leveraging the Windows market isn’t just a good idea, it’s the only choice.

Update: After Microsoft commented to the effect that they would be working to prevent projects like this from succeeding, Adafruit raised the bounty to $2000. That’s the spirit!

[via CNET]

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