Microsoft denies Kinect hack claims

[UPDATE] Software giant says engineer's linking of camera-based system to Windows 7 PC does not constitute hacking.

[UPDATE] Since this article was published, Microsoft has issued the following statement through a spokesperson: "Kinect for Xbox 360 has not been hacked--in any way--as the software and hardware that are part of Kinect for Xbox 360 have not been modified. What has happened is someone has created drivers that allow other devices to interface with the Kinect for Xbox 360. The creation of these drivers, and the use of Kinect for Xbox 360 with other devices, is unsupported. We strongly encourage customers to use Kinect for Xbox 360 with their Xbox 360 to get the best experience possible." The original story is below.

Last week, GameSpot sibling site CNET reported on a contest to separate the Kinect from the Xbox 360. According to the report, Adafruit Industries, a New York-based company founded by MIT alumni, is offering a $2,000 prize to anyone who can operate the motion-sensing camera independent of the Xbox 360 console.

Kinect appears to have already been hacked.

Now, it looks like the contest has a potential winner. Over the weekend, a member of the NUI Group, an open-source development community, appears to have hacked a Kinect unit. As can be seen in several videos, the developer, known as AlexP, appears to have been able to control the camera with a PC running Windows 7, not the Xbox 360. In one video (below), he appears to have been able to control the Kinect camera's motor, moving the unit up and down, while the Kinect unit's color and infrared displays appear on the screen. (AlexP had previously written a similar program, which allowed the PlayStation Eye camera to be used by PCs.)

As of press time, Microsoft had not responded to requests for comment on the hacked Kinect unit. However, it did voice its strong disapproval of any such tampering to CNET. "Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products," a company spokesperson said. "With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."

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263 comments
johnjcoe9198
johnjcoe9198

And now we know why you CAN'T use Kinect as a webcam! If someone were to back-hack the camera's network, they could spy on anyone with the device. And that means lawsuits aplenty. BUT, its only a matter of time before MS DOES release it for PC interface.

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

@philly1uper You know what they say about assuming. I focus a lot of my time and energy on one woman, so I guess you're right I could be focusing on more and cheat my way through life. But I don't expect you to believe that since you already have preconceived notions about me. My run-in with AncientDozer was stubbornness from both sides.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@Cwagmire21 If you focused your time and energy from trolling on here to lets say...women? You would probably be A LOT happier.

chronolzx
chronolzx

y do companies attempt to control how consumers use their product? if i paid for something then i own it and should be allowed to use it however i like sans a corporation looking over my shoulder!

KaizerJinn
KaizerJinn

....interesting story. @Cwagmire21 AWESOME avatar!!! =D

carlosjc1984
carlosjc1984

people still dont get it kineckt its not for hardcore gamers its to atract ppl that like wii like games developers will keep doing games the way we like (halo modern warefare bla bla) so if u dont like to play with ur body dont buy it and stfu the kinekt its not perfect but its great in its own way...so dont worry nobody its gonna replace ur controller .

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

UncleAnesthesia
UncleAnesthesia

How does using a camera as a camera constitute hacking? If you make a driver that's called programming, not hacking.

XanderZane
XanderZane

The NUI Group probably work for Microsoft. lol!! It doesn't really matter. If it has been hack and can be used for other things besides XBox 360, that's actually a plus for Microsoft. That just means more sales of Kinect for other reasons. This is actually good new for Kinect and not bad. Sales are already high for the unit and it's sold out everywhere right now. U.K. Launched today: [url]http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=274878[/url]

deadlysilence82
deadlysilence82

it's doesn't matter if it hacked or not lol . which i think it is though, if Kinect was made only for the 360 and not on the computer then Microsoft is totally in denial lol. Kinect is junk anyway so flame me all you want fan boys. which i bought my console for games and to be able to use my controller's not to use my whole body to interact as a controller .

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

Hire them? They don't need to HIRE them. They have people that could have done that in a second anyway, heck it's all Microsoft based anyway, which brings me to my next point. They didn't want to so they could sell 360s. The idea is laughable to try and stop people (especially with, as I said, a piece of hardware and software with the same origin), if people really want to, they will. No matter what anyone does to stop them.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@parrot_of_adun I respectfully disagree. It is not automatically garbage because you don't like it. Granted, a number of games are sub par but at the same time, a number of games are above average. Kinectimals, surprisingly, surpassed expectations and dance central may change DDR.

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

@Cwagmire21 Bromagus, I only repeated it because you weren't listening. Also, I'll say something different when you do and, on top of that, something that is interesting.

Cwagmire21
Cwagmire21

@AncientDozer So you decide to copy and paste your first response to your second with a new "bro" addition? Nice. Come back when you have something new.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

@ bmwz4y kinect=mouse+keyboard+web cam+ mic? ummm my laptop has a web cam, a mic, a mouse, and a keyboard all included. why would I need to buy a $150 kinect, and have to spend the time to hack it, to get something I already have? hence the pointlessness of the situation. plus I don't think the kinect would make a good keyboard. It's camera isn't sensitive enough to figure out where your fingers are actually typing. as a mouse it might work, but again the whole fps issue, imagine trying to walk with your imaginary arrow keys, on your imaginary keyboard, and trying to aim and shoot with your body..... I still don't see a point to this. I give the guy props for hacking the Kinect, but its not worth it really.

zanelli
zanelli moderator

I doubt Microsoft are going to take this that seriously, you don't see Nintendo releasing the hounds on PC gamers using wiimotes and it's not like custom drivers are anything new. I think that the sooner the indie market can get hold of this tech the better, for both gaming in general and Microsoft.

Krystyan68
Krystyan68

As an interface for a PC, I actually think Kinect has a lot of potential, although I suspect it was an idea MS had from the beginning. Just release it for 360 first to help move units now at the trailing edge of the console 's cycle.

JohnF111
JohnF111

Wow... someone basically made a driver for $2000? How much did MS pay? MS should hire these guys.

XAF1
XAF1

IrshDrkWlf actually response time has been great for Kinect and Kinect sports for me. I think that lag issues are probably due to bad/too much lighting or camera positioning. I've been playing with friends and we haven't had any major issues with lag. I agree with MS, making generic drivers that work with a camera or any hardware can't really be defined as hacking. There are tons of generic drivers out there for PC hardware and in away that is what the Kinect and 360 are---I'm sure MS wouldn't call it that. Driver stability can be the real issue. I expect to see Kinect being used in Windows at some point and for MS to issue drivers and software down the road as they did with the other camera, and the adapter to use the wireless 360 controller, and wireless 360 Headphone on PC.

wavelength121
wavelength121

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

anomaly3001
anomaly3001

M$ was founded on hacking and jacking other peoples ideas! Leave it up to M$ to be the Techno Hippocrates! As long as there are Elite Hackers All things hackable will be hacked! Cnet and the MIT guy were just a little to blatant! LOL! "We will work closely with law enforcement" actually means "I can't believe they hacked Kinect already....and there is nothing we can do about it accept cry to the Feds! boo hoo!

IrshDrkWlf
IrshDrkWlf

I am not too surprised someone did this, but to be honest it still does not constitute me spending $150 on the Kinect, even if I do not have to buy the 360 to play it. Response on the Kinect is very slow at least for Kinect Sports. So I think MS should stop worrying about this and start making patches for the Kinect's response time.

mattcake
mattcake

Woo look at me, I can hack the Kinect on my PC, after paying full price for it, and not be able to play any games cos theyre all xbox only! Yay! Errr...

Taristar
Taristar

Microsoft has always planned to bring the Kinect to the PC just that someone wrote the drivers before M$ released them to the public is no surprise. Kinect is only a timed exclusive for the Xbox 360, M$ will eventually support the device on the PC on their own. Meaning if you have a decent PC Kinect is no reason to waste money on an Xbox 360.

eastwoodmaniac
eastwoodmaniac

Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. Been using my PS3 camera and controllers on my PC for ages. Microsoft's reaction is, of course, also unsurprising.

aquasocks
aquasocks

The music's a little over-dramatic. If it started walking and/or shooting lasers it'd fit in.

glhx1rush
glhx1rush

It's all fun and games (no pun intended) until Microsoft deploys the lawyers.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Anything with a USB connector is fair game is you ask me.... and the fact that they're going to "work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant" sounds laughable, particularly as it's a microsoft product and is currently only "hacked" to be used with another microsoft product, Windows 7. Now if someone gets one working on a Macbook or a PS3, see their blood boil - THAT I'd understand.... getting worked up about PC users getting one working on Windows, hell they should just be impressed and hire the guy to do something for them.

bmwz4y
bmwz4y

Firstly the interface is USB so what did they expect, every hardware gets "HACKED" if it's that easy. and to all of you Who don't understand what's going to happen I say Motion,Depth,Voice and that can conclude something like(mouse+Keyboard+Mic+Cam) so think again.

blooky
blooky

Not a big deal - liek stated below it is a camera. Almost anybody and take any device and figure out the I\O and get it to work with a PC. Did they port the software over so you can play WOW?

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

I don't like Microsoft trying to define "hacking". Anytime you can write software to use something for an unintended purpose, that is hacking, (similar to "hijacking", where you take something over to use for an unintended purpose). Since writing drivers to use the kinect camera via a PC is "unsupported" by Microsoft's own definition, this constitutes hacking. It's not the malicious hacking the public is used to hearing, but it is still hacking in the purest sense of the term (as in, someone wrote a hack for the kinect).

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

I don't see what the big deal is it is a camera. if you send the right signal anythign will turn on. That includes women for all they trolls wasting your lives posting this stupid comments go find a significant other to make you feel better about your self.

DomaineStickem
DomaineStickem

i think who cares, it may be blown out of proportion, if someone wants to tamper their own toys let em, thats their right to, they bought it... but it could be the start of something big on youtube

majere613
majere613

I'd actually be far more interested in using the Kinect interface to control a Windows 7 media box than in using it to play games, but I've not gone hands-on with it yet so that may change.

megakick
megakick

WOW!!! the kinect works on a windows installed pc, WOW!!! who would have thought (sarcasm)

GingerDeadMan
GingerDeadMan

This could be pretty big, people are underestimating the implications of this.

Jruggy
Jruggy

@ Ladiesman17 - Why would you change your clothes while you xbox was on??

Jruggy
Jruggy

Whoopy doo for him. okay, moving on...

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

beware STALKER!! Spying while you doing exercise, while you change your clothes, etc. etc. ;)

Clutch22
Clutch22

Oh wow you made a camera that was made by microsoft work on a system built by microsoft, grats? Try using it on a mac, now that would be impressive but I still don't see the point to this concidering it doesn't do anything.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

I don't really get the point in hacking a kinect.... its just a motion sensing camera. its not like you can take it anywhere. I mean it might seem cool I guess to hook it up to your laptop, but would you really want to carry a laptop and a kinect everywhere? Besides its not gonna revolutionize anything by being hacked. and if you want to know how it works you simply take it apart, but you can find out how it works online so thats pointless as well, anyone else have any thoughts? cause I'm seriously lost on why you would want to hack this thing....?

okassar
okassar

Although MS is caring too much about this, they sort of are right on this particular case. This isn't really a hack, and if it does count as a hack, it is very unsophisticated. That being said, there will be thousands of hacks soon, some very complex. The infared would make Kinect a decent security camera (although if you really want a security cam, just buy one...), you could even tell when someone lets one rip. The best hacks would probably have some unique way of using the depth sensor/3D camera which not many popular devices have at the moment.

steelmouth
steelmouth

the good news is that this means more sales for kinect the bad news kinect sales wount drive x360 sales as much

ps3freek
ps3freek

ohh microsoft when are you gonna learn ..... your not meant for gaming industry ... leave the owner of games bee .. sony for life ....

jhpeter
jhpeter

Its something like using your fighting EX stick in your pc since is via usb, and using somet soft to work like in the console.

jhpeter
jhpeter

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