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Google Engineer Sponsors New Kinect Bounties 96

ashidosan writes "Hot on the heels of the Adafruit competition, Matt Cutts (a search spam engineer at Google) is sponsoring two more $1,000 bounties for projects using Kinect. 'The first $1,000 prize goes to the person or team that writes the coolest open-source app, demo, or program using the Kinect. The second prize goes to the person or team that does the most to make it easy to write programs that use the Kinect on Linux.'" Relatedly, reader imamac points out a video showing Kinect operating on OS X.
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Google Engineer Sponsors New Kinect Bounties

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  • Re:That's good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcvos ( 645701 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @08:16AM (#34205440)

    I've got a couple of (really simple) ideas for how to use it.

    Actually, only one is really simple. I think my 1.5 year old son would love to see a big rabbit on TV that would simply replicate his every move. Not much of a game, but a cool tech demo, as well as something for my son to enjoy.

    The other (much more ambitious) idea, is to mix it with an HTML 5 demo I already was considering. I'd need some way to turn Kinect events into mouse events, I guess. Something that a browser can handle, in any case, so I think that means mouse events. Something multitouchy would be nice, but I don't think browsers support that, do they?

  • by js3 ( 319268 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @08:26AM (#34205476)

    seems everyone wants a piece of that kinect thing they created.

  • Re:That's good (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @08:35AM (#34205522)
    And actually very useful. Think CG television series - not movies, where you can afford the time to have artists position every joint, but a series where you have a week at most to complete an episode. This could speed things up considerably and at much lower cost than a full mocap setup. Presenters of children's shows could be easily replaced with CG character overlays.
  • Re:That's good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @08:59AM (#34205664) Homepage

    not really. I can think of a few uses.

    The open source Gametable [] rptools could use this to translate tabletop real minnatures to virtual for distance gaming or as a UI to move your object and it moves the token on screen for a top down projection.

    IF I actually spent time on it, I could come up with a lot of them. Gesture door lock, alarm sensor that can reliably distinguish between a human and an animal, etc....

  • Re:Watch! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @09:11AM (#34205750) Journal
    I suspect that MS knows that they don't have a leg to stand on against the present activity(all the copyrighted code/DRM protected stuff/patented wizbangs are in the firmware, and writing a driver that just receives the data the firmware generates is the sort of thing that even the DMCA explicitly protects). I assume that their frankly nasty bluster so far has been about two things 1. management of the fears of Joe User: Joe hears "hackers hack Kinect", Joe assumes that his Kinect is now watching his children on behalf of Romanian cybercriminals. MS doesn't want that, so they talk big about how secure and law-enforcement-cooperating they are. 2. Overton window shifting: If you want a specific, and novel, legal result, you generally have to prepare the groundwork for it by modifying the discourse. You do this by the crude; but often successful, expedient of repeating your currently-false-but-desired-to-be-true worldview in public, a lot. If "unapproved use = tampering = evil" has been repeated a few thousand times by the time that DMCA 2: Son of DMCA comes before congress, it will be much more likely to make it in.

    Now, if somebody does something directly competitive with PrimeSense, on a commercial scale, you may well see the claims start flying that any working Kinect driver must be implementing 127 patented algorithms and is otherwise all kinds of illegal; but that probably isn't worth the cost of process servers for the current scruffy band of international hackers...
  • by andydread ( 758754 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @09:21AM (#34205834)
    They didn't create it. The licenesed the camera system from a military company. They were even told to wait for the new system as it's much better than the current cheap system that Microsoft licensed. So no they did not invent this. Just a few minutes of googling would have made this obvious to you. Also Here [] you can see that this idea is not even original. Dude figured out how to do this ages ago with a Wii-mote
  • Re:Watch! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JohnBailey ( 1092697 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @09:23AM (#34205840)

    I bet Microsoft will be all over the courts trying to stop this thing, and you know what?!.. I bet this news will sell thousands more units, knowing we can screw around with it in our own way.. they just don't get it.


    The parts have been shown to cost about $50. Add a few dollars per unit manufacturing, packaging, transport.. And you have a nice little profit. So despite the whiner chorous insisting it is selling at a loss.. It isn't.

    Each one sold, is more money for Microsoft.
    Each one sold puts an MS logo in front of the buyer.
    Each one sold increases the chances of games being written including the kinect for the xBox. And more enthusiastic reception if and when they release a Windows SDK for it.

    So..Other than some vague paranoid "because it's Microsoft" excuse.. Why the flying fuck would they stand in the way of this thing selling?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 12, 2010 @10:18AM (#34206210)

    Funny you should make that crack about googling because if YOU had googled around a little bit then you would have found this recent article [] which goes into detail about how Kinect came together and shows that Microsoft did a lot more than just buy the PrimeSense technology and repackage it. The PrimeSense hardware alone was not enough to do what the Microsoft researchers envisioned.

    The reason a lot of people are excited about this is because Microsoft did something truly innovative here. Try to be mature enough to admit that.

  • Re:Kinect hype (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @03:45PM (#34210022)
    It is indeed - but the software runs on the Kinect itsself. Embedded processor. The 360 is a games console - it needs all the processor time it can get for graphics. The Kinect itsself does most of the image processing (specifically the task of producing a depth map), reducing the load on the 360.
  • Re:Watch! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Friday November 12, 2010 @05:47PM (#34211254)

    You could use the exact same arguments to ask "why the flying fuck didn't Microsoft release it for Windows 7 too". If it's such an amazing piece of hardware for it's price (I'm told it's a perfectly capable motion capture device, and you've just said that it's dirt cheap for them to manufacture), it's tricky to see why they'd limit themselves to simulated tennis and virtual pets.

    If they're making such a killing on selling these units, as you suggest, and if they're such handy devices- why haven't they been plugging it as their own, almost unique, well branded entrant into the general hardware market?

    I'm not saying your point is wrong- far from it. I just genuinely can't see the logic here.

    But then, this is Ballmer's Microsoft we're talking about. Trying to spot strategy there is like trying to knit with egg noodles.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle