We've been so wrapped up in Kinect hacks
lately that we actually missed a Kinect non-hack
that emerged last week. PrimeSense, who built the initial Project Natal reference hardware for Microsoft
, has released its own open source drivers for the Kinect. PrimeSense is working with Willow Garage
(best known for its open source ROS robot operating system
), and Side-Kick (a motion gaming startup) through a new OpenNI organization it set up, and the trio will be combining their powers for good. The OpenNI framework will cover low-level hardware support (drivers for actual cameras and other sensors), and high-level visual tracking (turning your body into a 3D avatar that kicks ass in a virtual world). This should be a boon to an already vibrant Kinect hacking community, and if the video above is any indication, we aren't far from Kinect-level interaction and gameplay on our lowly PCs.
[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]