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Hackers Take the Kinect to New Levels

By Technology Review

December 2, 2010

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Soon after Microsoft released the Kinect gaming device, hackers found a way to pull raw data out of the system, radically expanding its potential uses. Enthusiasts have used the hardware to draw 3-D doodles in the air with hand movements, to play with virtual onscreen characters, and allow a robot to recognize gestures and map its surroundings.

But one of the biggest goals of Kinect hackers—controlling a computer with gestures—is proving difficult to achieve.

Researchers at MIT's Media Lab have created a new Chrome Web browser extension that lets users interact with any Web page via the Kinect plugged into a computer. Their project is one test case for the promise and limitations of hacking Microsoft's gaming peripheral for nongaming uses.

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