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Kinect Open Source Driver Released for PC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Another Kinect driver has appeared, this time as open source and available to the public.

Earlier this week, a video appeared showing that AlexP of the NUI Group had "hacked" Microsoft's Kinect, granting full control of the motion-sensing device on the PC. Microsoft followed-up with an explanation that it wasn't necessarily a "hack," but rather merely someone had developed unsupported drivers for the Windows-based platform.

Now there are additional drivers developed for Kinect, this time from Hector Martin of Marconsoft. However unlike AlexP--who supposedly has no intention of making his drivers open source--Martin has released his Kinect drivers (Linux?) as open source and are now available for public use, located here.

"Horribly hacky first take at a Kinect Camera driver," says the README file. "Does RGB and Depth. Main.c implements a simple OpenGL driver. Hopefully it should be mostly self-explanatory... You pretty much just open the USB device, call cams_init(dev, depthimg, rgbimg), and your depthimg and rgbimg callbacks get called as libusb processes events."

The drivers are (possibly) the result of a lucrative $2000 bounty set by Adafruit for anyone who can provide open source drivers for Microsoft Kinect. Although AlexP of the NUI Group was considered as the first, the drivers weren't made public, so the reward may land in Martin's lap.

UPDATE: Engadget reports that the NUI Group will release an SDK and Windows driver as open source once they achieve $10K in donations.

Hector Martin Kinect Driver

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    tommysch , November 11, 2010 4:32 PM
    In the PC community those are called drivers. If it was a iKinect it would be considered a hack and punishable by death.
  • 17 Hide
    killerclick , November 11, 2010 4:51 PM
    ''A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.''

    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chapter 12
  • 15 Hide
    hellwig , November 11, 2010 4:35 PM
    Quote:
    Engadget reports that the NUI Group will release an SDK and Windows driver as open source once they achieve $10K in donations.

    Ah, so blackmail is the game, eh?

    Question, how many people are going to be able to take advantage of these drivers? All they do is provide an interface to interpret the output of the kinect device. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that still leaves the biggest part of the problem, decoding that output into human gestures and turning those gestures into control actions. Microsoft spent millions developing the software to run Kinect, they probably spent nothing developing the actual hardware and XBox drivers. At this point, we still have that same nothing. We still need the human recognition software before we'll be controlling our computers with our bodies.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    tommysch , November 11, 2010 4:32 PM
    In the PC community those are called drivers. If it was a iKinect it would be considered a hack and punishable by death.
  • 13 Hide
    eklipz330 , November 11, 2010 4:32 PM
    Quote:
    Engadget reports that the NUI Group will release an SDK and Windows driver as open source once they achieve $10K in donations.


    How greedy of them to ask for donations like that. If they won't release the drivers, someone else will, and they'll do it for free
  • 2 Hide
    jskilnyk , November 11, 2010 4:33 PM
    I see a lot of possibilities with this device on the PC. However, Microsoft may release their own official drivers if it becomes popular enough.

    I'm wondering why the first guy didn't release the drivers. Maybe Microsoft got to him first. lol
  • 15 Hide
    hellwig , November 11, 2010 4:35 PM
    Quote:
    Engadget reports that the NUI Group will release an SDK and Windows driver as open source once they achieve $10K in donations.

    Ah, so blackmail is the game, eh?

    Question, how many people are going to be able to take advantage of these drivers? All they do is provide an interface to interpret the output of the kinect device. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that still leaves the biggest part of the problem, decoding that output into human gestures and turning those gestures into control actions. Microsoft spent millions developing the software to run Kinect, they probably spent nothing developing the actual hardware and XBox drivers. At this point, we still have that same nothing. We still need the human recognition software before we'll be controlling our computers with our bodies.
  • -5 Hide
    abswindows7 , November 11, 2010 4:39 PM
    With all the equipment he's go it means he has money, he could hire a cleaner at least before posting online ...
  • -1 Hide
    killerclick , November 11, 2010 4:47 PM
    I don't know what would be the point of this device on the PC. Seriously, I can't think of one use for it.
  • 17 Hide
    killerclick , November 11, 2010 4:51 PM
    ''A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wavebands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive - you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same programme.''

    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chapter 12
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 11, 2010 5:05 PM
    @killerclick I'd imagine the HTPC developers and media center mods would be all over having a kinect added to their system.
  • -3 Hide
    killerclick , November 11, 2010 5:08 PM
    true_magician@killerclick I'd imagine the HTPC developers and media center mods would be all over having a kinect added to their system.


    To do what? :) 
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , November 11, 2010 7:38 PM
    Forced donation in order for a job to be done is called a wage. Or blackmail! ;) 
  • 1 Hide
    badaxe2 , November 11, 2010 7:56 PM
    Take that, Microsoft. If you'd rather support your console before your bread n butter for entertainment, then expect others to pick up your slack.
  • 0 Hide
    bv90andy , November 11, 2010 9:36 PM
    Controlling Boxee on my HTPC in Ubuntu with my hand in the air would be pretty awesome.

    killerclickHitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Chapter 12

    A certain movement to "Lock" the kinect from any unintended commands seems to be required, but not that hard to do and become accustomed to, like a triangle, or a circle... in any case way easier then searching for the remote all the time. Even now I don't know where my remote is. I would love it if I could just wave to the TV to change the channel.
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , November 12, 2010 12:42 AM
    Open source really?
  • 1 Hide
    xantek24 , November 12, 2010 1:13 AM
    killerclickI don't know what would be the point of this device on the PC. Seriously, I can't think of one use for it.


    like i said before, give your pc the middle finger so it can go into sleep mode....