We've seen plenty of Kinect hacks over the last few weeks -- trouble is, beyond the initial wow factor they're just not very useful on a daily basis. That situation just changed, however, with the release of KinEmote, a free public beta that lets Windows users navigate XBMC and Boxee menus using nothing but hand gestures. Better yet, the software is built around OpenNI and NITE middleware from PrimeSense, the company behind the Project Natal reference gear. It certainly looks impressive in the video after the break. Good enough that we suspect many of you will hit up the source link below instead of finishing up your last minute holiday shopping -- hey, Santa can wait, this is progress!

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KinEmote: Kinect gesture control for Boxee and XBMC media centers now available (video)