The Kinect, which was officially hacked last week for use with other systems besides the Xbox 360, has now been used to capture video in 3D, pushing the potential uses of the recently released technology at an incredibly fast pace.
A developer named Oliver Kreylos, who is a PhD student at the University of California, Davis, used a recently reverse engineered hack of the Kinect for Linux by Hector Martin, who won a $3,000 bounty last Thursday for developing the first open source Kinect driver.
Kreylos used the “magic incantations” that Martin developed, which allow the Kinect to operate away from an Xbox 360, and wrote his own 3D reconstruction code from scratch in C++, using his Vrui VR 3D rendering toolkit.
The result is the ability for the Kinect to capture 3D video, which Kreylos demonstrated in the video below:
With only a single camera it is impossible to capture all angles necessary for a full 3D reconstruction, but this development is one of the first fruits to come of the recent push to hack the Kinect.
It shows that the device can be used well outside its advertised scope, and the sheer swiftness of the advances made since the hack last week reveal how quickly an independent hacking community can push technology.
It was less than two weeks ago that Adafruit Industries, an open source electronics vendor, offered a $1,000 bounty for hackers to develop an open source driver for the Kinect device. The bounty quickly doubled and tripled after Microsoft responded angrilly to the news.
Like Hector, Kreylos does not own an Xbox, showing that the Kinect really can be used on alternative platforms to great success.
Kreylos even demonstrated how the 3D capture could be used to make measurements of 3D objects that match their physical counterparts: