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11 November 2010, 12:44

Hacker wins $3,000 for first open source Microsoft Kinect driver - Update

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Following an ever increasing bounty for the delivery of the first open source driver for the Microsoft Kinect, the team at Adafruit Industries has announced that they now have a winner. According to a post on the Adafruit blog, hacker Hector Martin was the first person to submit an open source driver for Microsoft's Kinect hardware, a motion-sensor accessory for its Xbox 360 gaming console.

The open source driver, which Martin created on his Linux laptop just three hours after the European launch, supports depth and RGB images and displays them on an OpenGL window. Martin, who doesn't even own an Xbox, says that his driver is "very hacky right now but it does prove the concept". Following confirmation by Adafruit that the driver works, Martin was rewarded with $3,000 to pay for various hacking tools and devices for a group of people he works with closely with – including the iPhone Dev Team members and the Wii hacker team, Team Twiizers.

Martin's Microsoft Kinect driver is available to download from A driver demo video is provided on YouTube. In addition to the $3,000 reward received by Martin, Adafruit donated $2,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a US non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organisation.

Update: Hacker Theodore Watson has now released a port of the libfreenect drivers that allow users to run the Kinect on Mac OS X. A demo video with links to download the port is available on Vimeo.


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