Kinect Hacks Could Bring Sci-fi to Your House

Kinect Hacks Could Bring Sci-fi to Your House | 40Tech

Microsoft’s Kinect, has already started a mini-revolution in the geeky world of modding. Since hacker Hector Marcan released the open source drivers that he created for Kinect, innovations using the technology have been appearing with speed that can only be described as plaid (my apologies to anyone who didn’t get that reference — and a cookie to the first commenter to identify it).

Some of the more interesting hacks I’ve come across are:

DepthJS (Fluid Interfaces Group) is a Chrome Extension that allows you to do some sci-fi-like web browsing with hand gestures. Make’s Adam Flaherty compared it to Spielberg’s Minority Report.

Interactive Shadow Puppets (Theo Watson) could have a future theatre and children’s entertainment — the kind they watch or do on their own time. The guy also does the entire video with what looks like a beer in hand — which I just found amusing and awesome.

Multitouch with a hacked Kinect is the first thing I was wondering about, especially after watching the DepthJS video. A fellow named floemuc put together a nice proof of concept using photos.

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Real-time People Detection and Tracking with multiple Kinects is a neat (and scary) little demo put together by some students and a professor from EPFL (a French Swiss tech school).

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There are also Kinect 3D art hacks, some original Mario Kart and Quake Live hacks, 3D object manipulation, cloud viewers and several others. Some of them are floating randomly about the web, but several are listed at the wiki/gallery of

If you want a review of how well the straight-ahead consumer version of the Kinect works, check out Evan’s review.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s Kinect? What other potential innovations could you see coming out of this?

Bobby Travis

Bobby isn't 40-something, but is a strong supporter of the Grown-up Geek kind. He's a loving husband and father first, but is also a freelance writer, productivity nut, operatically trained singer, and (not-so) closet geek. Check out his random thoughts, wackiness, and Instagram pics on Tumblr, Twitter, or Google+-- or just head over to


  1. Maybe it’s just me … but when I saw Minority Report, I was aghast at the suggest that this would be the future of web browsing. Tom Cruise seemed to burn 500 calories just to pull up a single document. That was seen as progress?

    • Kosmo definitely has a point about the practicality of some of this, but still, from a geek perspective, some of these hacks open up a can of awesomeness. Very cool! And to think the thing has only been out a few weeks. I can’t wait to see what other hacks people will cook up.

      • Hehe — it definitely could be a workout, but I have little doubt that UI’s will head more and more in that kind of direction. At least for a little while, anyway. Minority Report is not the only movie I’ve seen use the concept. Maybe something with smaller gestures, though, yes? :D

        No bites on the movie reference in the intro? Hey, isn’t this supposed to be a site for geeks who are familiar with 80’s/90’s movies?

      • I have to admit, I didn’t know the movie reference. Google gave me the answer, but I’ll stay quiet so as not to spoil someone else’s guess.

      • Really?? I guess I am the superior nerd in 40Tech town then, aren’t I? :P

        Since it either got lost in scannings or I just can’t wait… the movie was Spaceballs. :D

  2. Please ! The EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) is Swiss not French ! :(

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