10 best Kinect hacks

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One of the most amazing things about the Xbox 360 Kinect is the way it has fuelled an intense burst of activity from the hacking community. These “1337” individuals have come up with some truly ingenious uses for the wand-free motion control system – including a way to hook it up to the Xbox 360’s arch rival the PS3.

But there’s more. Much more. So limber up those arms, stretch those hamstrings and read on as we’ll take you through the 10 best Kinect hacks.

Fabricate Yourself

This uses Kinect to scan people, in preparation for making a miniature 3D print of their body. It’s not available for home use yet, sadly, as it needs an increase in resolution on the camera front – but it’s very cool nonetheless. Check out the video:

Augmented Reality Magic Mirror

Ever wanted to see your bones through your skin? Of course you have, and this Kinect hack makes that a reality.

Angry Birds

Angry Birds needs no introduction, but playing it Wii-style by holding a wireless controller in your hand is something new. Available for Windows 7 computers running KinEmote software.

Real time lightsaber
At some point pretty much every one of us has wanted to act out our Jedi fantasies by waving around an imaginary lightsaber – and this hack shows what you can do with a broom handle and some coding skills. If only Star Wars Kid had owned a Kinect…

Evil Genius Simulator
Cackle, raise your hands and cackle some more as two Tesla Coils fire into sparking, arcing life. Amazingly geeky stuff.

Home Automation system

Simple but effective, this Kinect hack uses the camera to track your movement around your flat, turning lights on and off accordingly.

Echo Lake music video
Echo Lake

Indie popsters Echo Lake used a modified Kinect and some custom apps to create the video for their single Young Silence.

The Claw
You can even adapt a Kinect to control a seaside arcade-style claw, using the camera to track your hand movement and translate that into the motion of a scary robotic arm.

Super Mario Bros
Imagine playing Nintendo classic Super Mario Bros with your body: yep, jump in your living room to make the Italian plumber leap onto a Koopa Troopa’s head. Looks hard work, mind:

NAVI artificial vision
HCI Blog

This uses a head-mounted Kinect camera to spot potential obstacles for a visually impaired person, relaying this info via a vibro-tactile belt.

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