The Tech behind Kinect: coming to a PC near you

By now you should know that here at developerFusion we a little bit of Kinect trickery. Microsoft’s ever-popular Xbox accessory has also been a hit with the hacker community, plugging the device into all kinds of software running on PCs.

But there’s a hidden story behind Kinect’s development, and now it’s come to the fore. The Kinect low-level hardware and software designs were actually produced by a company called PrimeSense; they licensed (cleverly, non-exclusively) to Microsoft for use in the Kinect device. At CES at the end of last week, PrimeSense announced that it would be bringing to market its own device called the PrimeSensor. It is similar in look to the Kinect, with the familiar RGB and IR cameras, but designed more for use on computers – the company announced that the software drivers for the device would be open-source to allow anybody to interface with it. At the Consumer Electronics Show, they demoed the device allowing people to play simple games, and control photo galleries and video playback. They even already have an App Store for games and applications compatible with the device for people wanting to get gesture-controlled applications on their computers.

There are also reports that Asus have licensed the technology and combined it with a device that streams video and music from a PC to a TV over a wireless connection in order to use it for control. All of those Kinect hacks seem to be paying off now! No mention of how much these devices may set you back, though.

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