Feeds

Hacker unshackles Kinect from Xbox

Microsoft not amused

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

An amateur hacker claims to have freed Microsoft's Kinect from the Xbox, a feat that allows him to control the the just-released motion-tracking game device from his Windows PC.

The claim was documented in two videos released over the weekend by a member of the Natural User Interface Group. In one, Kinect's motorized-tilt is shown being controlled with the moveup and movedown buttons of his Windows 7 PC. Normally, the movements can only be tracked when Kinect is connected to an Xbox 360 game console.

A second video shows the Kinect outputting color and depth data to the hacker's PC.

By themselves, the videos don't prove that the Kinect has been completely rooted, but they suggest that the NUI Group member AlexP is well on his way. The videos surfaced a few days after Adafruit Industries, a seller of DIY electronics kits, offered a $2,000 bounty to the first person who published open-source drivers for the Kinect.

The company's website has yet to say whether the hack satisfies the requirements. But according to Engadget, AlexP wasn't motivated by the Adafruit contest anyway. Instead, he hopes to integrate it into his company's CL Studio Live.

Microsoft is none too amused by the tinkering of a device that it has spent years to ensure isn't easily tampered with. On Thursday, shortly after Adafruit offered a paltry $1,000 for the hack, a Redmond spokesman told CNET that the company would “continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.” Adafruit responded by upping the reward to $2,000.

Users may recall the the US Copyright Office's Librarian of Congress earlier this year exempted the jailbreaking of smartphones from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The exception applies only to anti-circumvention prohibitions included in the statute, but Microsoft may have other provisions at its disposal.

AlexP has successfully removed digital shackles from other heavily locked-down hardware, hacking the PlayStation Eye in 2008, according to Engadget. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Half a BILLION in the making: Bungie's Destiny reviewed
It feels very familiar - but it's still good
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.