It’s hardly a month since Kinect for Xbox 360 was launched and it is already the best selling gadget in US and elsewhere. In this short amount of time we have seen some of the coolest Kinect hacks which we have listed down below. Now that Microsoft has given the green signal for hacking Kinect, we will see many more implementations and improvisations of Kinect’s 3D camera and sensor.


The list below contains some of the best Kinect Hacks in no particular order. Expect the list to be constantly updated. If you are reading this via an RSS reader, you might have to visit the website to enjoy the videos.

1. Kinect as a Helicopter Radar

An Youtube user, who goes by the name pbouf77 has uploaded a video which shows Kinect mounted atop a quadrocopter and utilized essentially as a 3D radar, facilitating the bot’s autonomous maneuvering around a predetermined track.

2. Multi-touch on Ubuntu

Kinect was hacked to enable multi-touch on Ubuntu, without even touching it. The video below shows a picture browsing application running in Ubuntu controlled using Microsoft’s Kinect. It allows for a multi-touch like control without touching the surface – like the stuffs we see in Sci-Fi movies.

3. Kinect Treatment on Windows 7

Not just Ubuntu, even Windows 7 has got the Kinect treatment. Some hackers have developed a full gesture system to control Windows 7. It includes clicking, browsing the media center, web browsing, text input using an onscreen keyboard etc.

4. Kinect as a 3D webcam

Oliver Kreylos was probably amongst the very first guys to hack Kinect and show us all on how it could be used as a 3D capture device. He fed the streams from his peripheral’s infrared and color cameras into a custom program that interpolated and reconstructed the result, generating a mildly mindblowing 3D virtual reality environment he can manipulate at will.

5. Stunning 3D Video via Kinect

Oliver came back with a mindblowing demo when he demonstrated how two Kinects can be paired and their output meshed to get a near perfect 3d video. As you can see in the video below, Oliver is able to rotate the camera perspective and basically film himself from a new camera angle that exists somewhere in between the position of the two Kinects, and do-so in real-time.

6. Kinect as a controller for Super Mario on PC

One super hacker demonstrated how Kinect can be used to play Super Mario on PC controlled only by their body contortions. Whoa!

7. Kinect Lightsaber

The same guy who demonstrated Kinect hack for Super Mario had earlier shown us how he used a wooden stick as a shining lightsaber in real time.

8. Optical Camouflage

A Japanese coder by name Takayuki Fukatsu, has hacked Kinect to give it a mode where it tracks your movement and position, but turns the dull details of your visage into an almost perfectly transparent outline!

9. Kinect Puppet show

Using the libfreenect drivers and openFrameworks, Emily Gobeille and Theo Watson have created a digital shadow puppet show like no other. The Kinect is used to do skeleton tracking on the arm of the puppeteer.

10. Kinect’s 3d doodle

Mehmet Akten created a 3D doodle in mid-air by hacking Kinect. By using one hand he draws a pattern, and when he switches to two hands, the image can be rotated to reveal its three-dimensional loveliness. Amazing!

11. Creating Digital Art

Chris Rojas has come up with a Box Cloud app which takes the distance data collected by the infrared camera on the Kinect, and uses it to render people and their surroundings in floating neon cubes.

12. Black and White

Digital ghost? Wow! Check out few other Kinect hacks on Flight404’s vimeo channel.

Not at all bad for a fortnight of Kinect hacking, isn’t it? Do tip us when you come across a new Kinect hack and we will be more than happy to include that in the list.

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Raju is the founder-editor of Technology Personalized. A proud geek and an Internet freak, who is also a social networking enthusiast. You can follow him on Facebook and on Twitter. Mail Raju PP. Follow rajupp