Microsoft: Kinect Was Left Open on Purpose

Microsoft: Kinect Was Left Open on Purpose

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No one is going to get in trouble for doing something new and interesting with Kinect, according to Microsoft's Alex Kipman.

Microsoft isn't mad about all the people using Kinect to make robots and lightsabers. In fact, the company deliberately made it simpler for people to get access to the data that Kinect's cameras and microphones collects in order to make exactly that kind of project easier.

Kipman, Microsoft's head of incubation, said that Kinect was designed for Kinect with an unprotected USB connection. This meant that while anyone wanting to use the peripheral could get access to the data, although they would have to figure out a way to translate that data into something useful on their own. Microsoft wasn't going to take any action against people hooking Kinect up to PC, he said, and added that Microsoft was keen to partner with academic institutes to make sure that researchers had the opportunity to work on projects using the Kinect technology.

At first glance, this supposedly deliberate openness seems to be at odds with the comments the Microsoft made when Kinect was first released, and the idea of open source drivers first came up when Adafruits Industries offered a prize for the first person to get Kinect working with a PC. Microsoft made it very clear that it didn't condone people tampering with its products, and made vaguely threatening comments about how it worked with law enforcement.

Considering Kipman's remark that no one was going to get in trouble for their Kinect projects, it's possible that those comments were due to a miscommunication, as the Adafruits used the phrase reverse engineer. Microsoft may have misinterpreted as "take apart and then make our own version," and so responded more aggressively that it might otherwise have done.

Of course, it's also possible that Microsoft decided that pursuing hobbyists and universities wasn't a good use of resources, and instead trying to score some positive PR off the back of the projects. Either way, it's good news for everyone, as it basically gives a green light to more experimentation.

Source: NPR via Ars Technica

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Microsoft PR. As schizophrenic as ever I see.

Guess the pouring in of entrepenurial hackers proved a bit too much to just ignore or defame in the end.

SUE THOSE DAMN UNIVERSITIES!

Weren't they against this like a week ago, though? It's great they're not going to screw people for messing around, but I thought that was recently a different story.

If that's what they want then why didn't they release kinect windows drivers themselves?

I find all of this a bit hard to swallow. And im not anti MS or anything like that. Itīs just iīve read the debate the few past weeks, and this is NEW.

And the PR man goes SPIN SPIN SPIN.

I guess he was just off his meds when he said MS was against it huh?

Can someone give me a link to when they said something contradictory to this? Cuz I can't remember them ever claiming different...

If they released PS Move drivers now, we could combine the 2 into an unstoppable force!

I know a blatant lie when I see/hear one. And this is total bollocks in my eyes.

Well this is not in keeping with traditional Microsoft behavior. Then again as I recall Bill Gates once said "If people are going to pirate software I would rather they Pirate our software." I believe this was in reference to China.

Can we stop this guy before he turns into the Tasmanian Devil with all that spinning?

Sounds like a guy tripping down the stairs and shouting that he "Meant to do that" as his friends find him in a crumpled heap at the bottom.

rumor is the kinetic is being sold for $100 dollar profit anyway

You know how we nerds are.

All Microsoft had to do was say 'No' and we proudly lined up to give them $150 dollars per Kinect, just to 'stick it to em'.

Yeah, Microsoft loves the modders now that they know that the modders can create more interesting products and bring in more customers.

BS, simple BS.

Seriously, I don't know what kinect will do for gaming. HOWEVER. If you saw the article here on the escapist about using it in a "minority report" style interface...

this technology could actually be the most revolutionary step in computer interfaces since the mouse, and an intermediate step between direct neurological control.

Your computer will be able to recognize YOU. Map that ability into the program properly, and we're one step closer to interactive pr0n and skynet.

Kipman, Microsoft's head of incubation

Excuse me? Head of incubation? Holy crap, they're breeding an army!

I Motion that Kinect has Moved my heart.

Anyone else basically read: "Yeah, we meant to let this happen, honest!" Out of all of that?

Atmos Duality:
And the PR man goes SPIN SPIN SPIN.

Naturally. They know the Kinect has far more potential being used for everything BUT their shitty shovelware games.

Keep the bullshit coming MS, nobody believes you.

Loonerinoes:
Microsoft PR. As schizophrenic as ever I see.

Guess the pouring in of entrepenurial hackers proved a bit too much to just ignore or defame in the end.

Whatever, I salute them, it's a fresh breath of air with Nintendo stomping all over the damn place for literally no reason (no pictures of Pokemon from an ALREADY RELEASED GAME!? What the fuck Nintendo!?)

Megacherv:
If they released PS Move drivers now, we could combine the 2 into an unstoppable force!

"A seemingly unending console war, to go down in history as the great 360-PS3 wars... forums were the battleground...only one artifact, forged in the Great Dungeons of the Hackerz could hope to unite the two bitter sides...the Monect..."

Extract from a book whose title is long weathered off.

9_6:
If that's what they want then why didn't they release kinect windows drivers themselves?

Just to play devil's advocate, not believing for a moment that MS 'chose' to make it open so much as 'didn't put effort into closing it', there is a huge gap between making something you can access and making an entire driver interface you then have to support, update, etc.

If it were anyone but MS, I would think the conscious decision to make it open would make extremely good sense, relying on the fans and tinkers to fuel a usage path that nets them nothing but positives.

But this is MS, so they are just covering their asses. ;)

In a corporation the size of Microsoft their is nothing unusual in different parts having different takes on something. The "incubation" part wants to see what interesting / useful things people can come up with. The other part is worried, probably about someone trying to reproduce the hardware / software and cutting MS out of the loop. It sounds like the "neat new stuff" people won. Be happy...

"At first glance, this supposedly deliberate openness seems to be at odds with the comments the Microsoft made when Kinect was first released,"

But Microsoft assures us that we are, as a matter of fact, currently at war with Eurasia. And has always been so, and always will be.

YAY! I'm not really worried about motivations, this just means the experimentation can continue. Maybe a program will be developed where you fight robots with lightsabers!

Translation: "Did we say that? No we didn't."

I agree that this sounds like a spin, but contrast it with Nintendo's response to hacking, which caused me to cease being a customer of theirs and has given me a nice, white paperweight.

mistwolf:

9_6:
If that's what they want then why didn't they release kinect windows drivers themselves?

Just to play devil's advocate, not believing for a moment that MS 'chose' to make it open so much as 'didn't put effort into closing it', there is a huge gap between making something you can access and making an entire driver interface you then have to support, update, etc.

This is true. Especially considering how few people are really interested in buying a Kinect just for their computers. Hell, they're going to have a hard enough time getting a profit from sales to 360 owners! ;)

They'd be daft to say NO! They've come up with something genuinely new and exciting, limiting it to shitty games where you stand on a raft or whatever would just be plain daft.

I'm still waiting until they think of a good use for the little magic box. When I can sit with my controller and use body movements to peer around corners or dodge quickly, voice commands to select weapons or instruct re-enforcements and standing up to immediately pause I'll be in the queue.

PR guy forgot to add the disclaimer about Microsoft having the right to dispute/ban/fight against any changes that they deem worthy to be un-microsoft to their product.

If the competition did in fact use the words "reverse engineer" then MSFT letting loose a vague threat was a definite. Simply connecting to the Kinect isn't reversing the hardware though and MSFT are generally ok with someone connecting to their device. Even if it's not official. Where would IE and Windows be if MSFT stuck to only certain hardware. :P

Atmos Duality:
And the PR man goes SPIN SPIN SPIN.

Actually, I totally believe them. You know why? Because!

Kinekt will not only appeal to 360 gamers, but by supporting this, they open up new markets that aren't interested in games, but in the technology. Hobbyists and hackers alike wanting to find cool ways to use the Kinekt hardware.

 

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