Hack Kinect, Win Money

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Hack Kinect, Win Money

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A DIY electronics outfit in New York is offering a prize to the first hacker to reverse engineer Microsoft's Kinect.

Ever since Kinect was announced, hackers and engineering nerds have been drooling over the possibilities of the technology. Being able to track motion and provide depth information would be perfect for small unmanned aircraft to avoid collisions, for example. Adafruit Industries, run by female engineer and MIT alum Limor Fried in New York City, provides kits for DIYers to cobble together their own electronics. Yesterday, Adafruit announced that it would award a $2000 prize for the first engineer to take apart a Kinect unit and figure out how to output video and a distance measurement. The first entity to upload an open source application that can perform these two tasks, as well as adequate documentation, will win the prize. The prize was originally $1000 before Adafruit read an interview with Microsoft that damned the competition.

"Imagine being able to use this off the shelf camera for Xbox for Mac, Linux, Win, embedded systems, robotics, etc. We know Microsoft isn't developing this device for FIRST Robotics, but we could!" the announcement reads. "Let's reverse engineer this together, get the RGB [video] and distance out of it and make cool stuff!"

Limor Fried read a post on CNET which had a quote from a Microsoft representative which frowned upon anyone trying to get at Kinect's proprietary technology. "Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products," the representative said. "With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."

What did Adafruit do in response? They upped the prize from $1000 to $2000 with the following challenge to M$oft: "Don't make us up it to $3k." I think Fried means business.

Now hackers, start your soldering irons ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Go!

Source: Adafruit Industries and CNET

Permalink

This will be hacked within a week, possibly even sooner. Nothing is unhackable. PS3 held out very long but now it's fallen, just like this will fall.

The possibilities for the camera sound even better outside of the normal Xbox 360 setup.

I smell a trap?

Why is microsoft so mad? I mean, if Kinect can be used like how PS3s are used for supercomputers, then why complain about the extra business. And there are gonna be tampering anyway; why not let the respectable people with the know-how to be the ones to do it?
I mean, its not a console mod- people aren't exactly going to be able to pirate COD5 through a camera peripheral...

Once again, I have great respect for what hackers can do.

And yet, I have no respect whatsoever for the hackers themselves, even the ones who claim to be "the good guys".

I'll give this a little less than a week and we'll be hearing this right here on the Pist.

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

I'll give it another hour.

Erana:
Why is microsoft so mad? I mean, if Kinect can be used like how PS3s are used for supercomputers, then why complain about the extra business. And there are gonna be tampering anyway; why not let the respectable people with the know-how to be the ones to do it?
I mean, its not a console mod- people aren't exactly going to be able to pirate COD5 through a camera peripheral...

Because these people aren't talking with Microsoft about using their hardware. They are paying for some modder/hacker to reverse engineer it and provide them with the coding/specs. It's theft of Microsoft's work. If they wanted to be legit, they'd talk with Microsoft directly about utilizing the hardware.

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

:Grabs Slegehammer:

You know, I think this is the same company that got in trouble for linking with open source GPL code and never disclosed their own source code.

Brotherofwill:
This will be hacked within a week, possibly even sooner. Nothing is unhackable. PS3 held out very long but now it's fallen, just like this will fall.

The possibilities for the camera sound even better outside of the normal Xbox 360 setup.

That's what I've been preaching since they announced Kinect, the out of game applications far surpass the gaming applications.

Xanthious:
Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

It's not the taking apart bit that's illegal, it's sharing the specifications and data used in Kinect that is.

It's a thin line and a court case probably wouldn't hold up... but taking apart someone elses work to use their core programming in some of your work is generally considered a no-no.

Jman1236:
:Grabs Slegehammer:

It's Hammer Time !!!

image

we'll see how much time it'll take to smash it to pieces...

Xanthious:

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

actually yes it is. you are reverse engineering the kinect then uploading it for money which is highly illegal. why do you think steve jobs hates people who jailbreak his items? washing machine manufacturers don't care, but software/hardware devs DO. you don't make things open source without the creator's consent. pure and simple.

this will be interesting. I hope to see it done, just because, if nothing else, its application in robotics will make everything so much easier.

GamesB2:

Xanthious:
Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

It's not the taking apart bit that's illegal, it's sharing the specifications and data used in Kinect that is.

It's a thin line and a court case probably wouldn't hold up... but taking apart someone elses work to use their core programming in some of your work is generally considered a no-no.

That isn't illegal either. They said nothing about making or selling a Kinect camera of their own. Hell if I want to take apart my keyboard and hook it up to control say my car I could. It would be no different than what these people are looking to do. They want to use the Kinect camera, camera NOT software, for other purposes than playing games. As long as they pay for the cameras however the hell they choose to use them is no business of M$.

Ultratwinkie:
actually yes it is. you are reverse engineering the kinect then uploading it for money which is highly illegal. why do you think steve jobs hates people who jailbreak his items? washing machine manufacturers don't care, but software/hardware devs DO. you don't make things open source without the creator's consent. pure and simple.

First off show me where they said anything about selling it. They want someone to make them software that will work with the Kinect camera. To make that software these people need to learn what makes the Kinect tick. M$ is free to make that as hard as possible to figure out but figuring it out illegal in the least bit. You don't agree to a damn thing when you buy a Kinect camera so it's not like there is a EULA in place. M$ can't say a damn thing about how you use it.

Ultratwinkie:

Xanthious:

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

actually yes it is. you are reverse engineering the kinect then uploading it for money which is highly illegal. why do you think steve jobs hates people who jailbreak his items? washing machine manufacturers don't care, but software/hardware devs DO. you don't make things open source without the creator's consent. pure and simple.

courts have ruled that jail breaking is now legal. And yes, you can. They aren't taking the code, they are figuring out how the camera outputs the data, and making code in which to use it on something other than an Xbox 360... nothing wrong with that, and it's legal.

Xanthious:
That isn't illegal either. They said nothing about making or selling a Kinect camera of their own. Hell if I want to take apart my keyboard and hook it up to control say my car I could. It would be no different than what these people are looking to do. They want to use the Kinect camera, camera NOT software, for other purposes than playing games. As long as they pay for the cameras however the hell they choose to use them is no business of MS.

Firstly, fix'd

Secondly, Orly?

Greg Tito:
The first entity to upload an open source application that can perform these two tasks, as well as adequate documentation, will win the prize.

Open source application = code

Microsoft can only protect their assets internally because of recent laws, that is why a court case wouldn't hold up and why they are employing safeguards.

I'm not saying I don't want to see this happen. Of course I do, it would do wonders for science.

I'm answering your original question, nothing more.

Direwolf750:

Ultratwinkie:

Xanthious:

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

actually yes it is. you are reverse engineering the kinect then uploading it for money which is highly illegal. why do you think steve jobs hates people who jailbreak his items? washing machine manufacturers don't care, but software/hardware devs DO. you don't make things open source without the creator's consent. pure and simple.

courts have ruled that jail breaking is now legal. And yes, you can. They aren't taking the code, they are figuring out how the camera outputs the data, and making code in which to use it on something other than an Xbox 360... nothing wrong with that, and it's legal.

jail breaking for PHONES. consoles don't factor into their decision and the kinect is a console device.

GamesB2:

Xanthious:
That isn't illegal either. They said nothing about making or selling a Kinect camera of their own. Hell if I want to take apart my keyboard and hook it up to control say my car I could. It would be no different than what these people are looking to do. They want to use the Kinect camera, camera NOT software, for other purposes than playing games. As long as they pay for the cameras however the hell they choose to use them is no business of MS.

Firstly, fix'd

Secondly, Orly?

Greg Tito:
The first entity to upload an open source application that can perform these two tasks, as well as adequate documentation, will win the prize.

Open source application = code

Microsoft can only protect their assets internally because of recent laws, that is why a court case wouldn't hold up and why they are employing safeguards.

I'm not saying I don't want to see this happen. Of course I do, it would do wonders for science.

I'm answering your original question, nothing more.

Your right, but that application is one that is being designed by someone else to work with the Kinect camera. Just like Logitech has no say over what programs I use my mouse with M$ has no say over what programs or applications the Kinect camera is used with. They would like to think they do but they are wrong.

Erana:
Why is microsoft so mad? I mean, if Kinect can be used like how PS3s are used for supercomputers, then why complain about the extra business. And there are gonna be tampering anyway; why not let the respectable people with the know-how to be the ones to do it?
I mean, its not a console mod- people aren't exactly going to be able to pirate COD5 through a camera peripheral...

Why? Because Microsoft couldn't get them to pay $6000 when you can get the exact same thing without the brand name for only $2-3k.

I give it two days.

It makes since, because getting a patent from Microsoft would not only take longer but be more expensive the $2000.

Ultratwinkie:

Direwolf750:

Ultratwinkie:

Xanthious:

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

actually yes it is. you are reverse engineering the kinect then uploading it for money which is highly illegal. why do you think steve jobs hates people who jailbreak his items? washing machine manufacturers don't care, but software/hardware devs DO. you don't make things open source without the creator's consent. pure and simple.

courts have ruled that jail breaking is now legal. And yes, you can. They aren't taking the code, they are figuring out how the camera outputs the data, and making code in which to use it on something other than an Xbox 360... nothing wrong with that, and it's legal.

jail breaking for PHONES. consoles don't factor into their decision and the kinect is a console device.

legal precident. fuck yes it does. there is already a legal position on this type of thing settled, which could easily be extended to game consoles. and these "phones" are practically computers anyways. the decision would hold, and the case would just be a waste of time...In addition I think you are mistaken about that ruling just extending to phones but I'm not interested to the point of research.

Xanthious:
Your right, but that application is one that is being designed by someone else to work with the Kinect camera. Just like Logitech has no say over what programs I use my mouse with MS has no say over what programs or applications the Kinect camera is used with. They would like to think they do but they are wrong.

Fix'd again, you're having trouble with that capital S there...

Being designed by someone else by using Microsofts coding... the whole point of hacking the device.

It's morally questionable at best, but whatever I can see Kinect becoming incredibly useful in medical science so it's all good and well.

For an MIT graduate her choice of words is very very poor. To reverse engineer something is taken to mean figuring out the principles a device, software or other object, operates on so that one can build the device themselves. Since Microsoft has filed a patent on the technology the Kinect uses, it would be illegal to break it apart, figure out how it's built, build it the same way and market it yourself (Much like the auto companies did to Robert Kearns).

But from reading the article, that's not what they want to do. All they want to do is figure out how the device outputs information and use it for a purpose other than playing games. This is nearly identical to using PS3's linked together to form a supercomputer. You're not building your own PS3's and trying to market them, all you're doing is figuring out how they process information and then using them to processes information you feed them that isn't a game.

Direwolf750:

Ultratwinkie:

Direwolf750:

Ultratwinkie:

Xanthious:

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

actually yes it is. you are reverse engineering the kinect then uploading it for money which is highly illegal. why do you think steve jobs hates people who jailbreak his items? washing machine manufacturers don't care, but software/hardware devs DO. you don't make things open source without the creator's consent. pure and simple.

courts have ruled that jail breaking is now legal. And yes, you can. They aren't taking the code, they are figuring out how the camera outputs the data, and making code in which to use it on something other than an Xbox 360... nothing wrong with that, and it's legal.

jail breaking for PHONES. consoles don't factor into their decision and the kinect is a console device.

legal precident. fuck yes it does. there is already a legal position on this type of thing settled, which could easily be extended to game consoles. and these "phones" are practically computers anyways. the decision would hold, and the case would just be a waste of time...In addition I think you are mistaken about that ruling just extending to phones but I'm not interested to the point of research.

rulings could only be done every 3 years with the DMCA. do you not research these people? the earliest the ruling could come down on would be past 2012. The case against the hacker would be settled well before that.

/sigh

Microsoft's comments just piss me off here, ffs, the only reason to have protections in a device is to prevent piracy, you can't claim taking about something someone paid for is illegal.

If I want to take apart a radio and build something out of it, I'm bloody well allowed too, I paid for it, fuck the manufacture, the same goes for computer and games systems, if we want to take them apart and use them for something else, we damn well can, so long as we don't do it allow the playing of pirated software.

You'd think they'd be all for this honestly, it means more sales of the device... then against given the history of loss-leading console hardware (I forget, are they making a profit or a loss on the kinnect?) I could see them being a little ticked, but honestly if you sell something for less then it costs to make, you've got no right to bitch.

For all the possibilities they mention they think they can get out of Xbox Kinect You'd think 2.... heck $10,000.00 would be to little for the keys(ability to repeat the process of open sourcing)a Kinect device from a store.

If I were a younger man I'd be all over this.

But I got bills to pay and that crap now.... (secretly just logs into WoW....)

Ultratwinkie:

rulings could only be done every 3 years with the DMCA. do you not research these people? the earliest the ruling could come down on would be past 2012. The case against the hacker would be settled well before that.

restarted cause it was getting annoying. Yes, rulings can only be done every 3 years. THAT IS NOT WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. the ruling HAS ALREADY BEEN PASSED in regards to jailbreaking. By rules of legal precedent, in the United States, a court case with a similar situation can be used as evidence in another one. I mentioned nothing in regards to a case being charged against a hacker, and I have no idea how you interpreted that.

What I was saying about research was that I was skeptical that the jailbreaking case was restricted to "phones" ALONE in the first place. I believe it extends to more than just the iphone, but I don't care enough to go find out. Please actually read what I am saying before you spew baseless crap about it.

image

I shouldn't have to explain the picture by now XD

Xanthious:

Ultratwinkie:

this video sums it all up. lawsuit time is upon us.

Oh please, PLEASE, explain to me how taking apart a piece of hardware you legally bought and using it for an unintended puprose is illegal? It says nothing about them using M$ software. It would be no different than taking my refrigerator apart and using it as a place to set plants. Somehow I doubt Whirlpool will get butthurt about it.

The way this reads is that this company wants to use the Kinect camera with different perfectly legal software. M$ can't do a damn thing about that. There is nothing illegal about buying a Kinect and using the camera portion for something other than playing Xbox games.

I think you should take time and read that long text that everyone forces you to accept. The terms of use you know?

Shycte:
I think you should take time and read that long text that everyone forces you to accept. The terms of use you know?

So your saying that there are terms of use to buy a Kinect camera? Are they making the cashiers get your signature now when you check out at the local Walmart? Somehow I doubt that. You agree to absolutely nothing when you buy a Kinect camera. But by all means, if you can show me something I might have missed feel free.

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