Xbox Kinect Hacks Drive Innovation

The Xbox Kinect was released in November of 2010 and since then it has inspired the creativity of many people to find creative ways to hack the system to their own ends.

CNN reports that researchers at the University of Southampton are using the motion-senor device to help patients rehabilitate from a stroke. Using a specially devised algorithm therapists can track the hand and finger movements of a patient as they guide them through exercises. With an internet connection, therapists can even even use their hack of the Xbox Kinect to do their jobs remotely.

“It widens our opportunities to make rehabilitation more accessible to people in their homes,” Cheryl Metcalf, lecturer in Biomechanics at Southampton told CNN. “(Patients) can just plug it into their TV and be monitored over the internet. The whole tele-medicine idea opens up so many different avenues to be able to look and measure progress objectively.”

Microsoft has been receptive to outside modifications, releasing the Kinect for Windows software development kit. And the Xbox Kinect isn’t done developing itself either. Recently a photo of game play for the next generation of the device was leaked on Twitter.

Gaming Illustrated reports Twitter user superDaE posted the photo (see it here). It appears to show two individuals playing with the new hardware on the next generation Xbox, called by some the Xbox720. The new technology will be able to identify the movements of fingers and the shape of the clothing of the person playing, something the current Xbox Kinect is incapable of doing. It also shows improved depth support and sensors.