Hacker’s Delight
Kinect fans are unlocking the device to devise creative new concepts
Media / 9 Feb 2011
It has been available only since this past fall, but Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 has already sparked one of the most fascinating creative movements in gaming since the birth of the Easter egg more than 30 years ago. From the moment hardware hacker Hector Marcan released his open source Kinect drivers in November, a flood of multimedia art projects, most of which are found on the Kinect Hacks hub, have been leveraging Kinect’s capabilities in museum-worthy ways.
Kinect Music Video:
It’s yet to be determined if Echo Lake’s upcoming Valentine’s Day release, Young Silence, will have the same commercial and critical impact as Radiohead’s In Rainbows, but the London band’s new music video is already garnering comparisons to the latter’s seminal “House of Cards” video. The video, which premiered last week on Vimeo, is the work of Brighton-based filmmaker Dan Nixon. Shot in December, Nixon captured an Echo Lake performance using Kinect as a camcorder. He then used custom Cinder-based applications and publicly available Kinect hacking files to complete the project, the result of which is a colorful, ghost-like rendering of the band’s images that are every bit as creepy as the avatars found in Second Life.
Kinect Sex:
Last week’s issue of New York magazine examined the implications of modern pornography and, while it focused primarily on the world of online content, the adult entertainment industry’s utilization of modern technology is expanding its reach even further. ThriXXX, a developer of 3D animated interactive sex games, released a (NSFW) demo video on YouTube that illustrates how the Kinect motion sensor interface can add a new dimension to adult games by eliminating controllers in favor of integrating real life gestures, voice commands, and even objects, to gameplay. Of course, since this is Trendcentral and not Hustler, we grant our readers creative license to imagine what that would look like.
Kinect Air Guitar:
Simulated guitar playing, once the province of the Waynes and Garths of the world, has evolved from a metalhead joke to become one of the most defining gaming properties of the last decade. Now, thanks to the Kinect, the exaggerated windmills that accompany headbanging can actually produce audible music. British artist and designer Chris O’Shea hacked the device’s motion sensor to transform it into an invisible guitar that translates pantomimed strumming into concordant chords. A game demo video he created reveals what these virtual riffs look and sound like. Might there be a new category at this year’s Air Guitar World Championships? Indeed, merely miming Hendrix may now feel downright reductive.
©The Intelligence Group