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Adafruit offers $2000 bounty for open source Microsoft Kinect drivers

DIY hardware company Adafruit has announced it will give a prize of $2000 to the first person who is able to write a open source and well documented driver for Microsoft’s Kinect.

What is Kinect?

Kinect for Xbox 360, or simply Kinect (originally known by the code name Project Natal, is a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 video game platform, and may later be supported by PCs via Windows 8. Based around a webcam-style add-on peripheral for the Xbox 360 console, it enables users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 without the need to touch a game controller through a natural user interface using gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images. The project is aimed at broadening the Xbox 360’s audience beyond its typical gamer base.

The Hardware

The Kinect sensor is a horizontal bar connected to a small base with a motorized pivot, and is designed to be positioned lengthwise below the video display. The device features an “RGB camera, depth sensor and multi-array microphone running proprietary software”, which provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities.

According to information supplied to retailers, the Kinect sensor outputs video at a frame rate of 30 Hz, with the RGB video stream at 32-bit color VGA resolution (640–480 pixels), and the monochrome video stream used for depth sensing at 16-bit QVGA resolution (320–240 pixels with 65,536 levels of sensitivity). The Kinect sensor has a practical ranging limit of 1.2”3.5 metres (3.9”11 ft) distance. The sensor has an angular field of view of 57° horizontally and a 43° vertically, while the motorized pivot is capable of tilting the sensor as much as 27° either up or down. The microphone array features four microphone capsules, and operates with each channel processing 16-bit audio at a sampling rate of 16 kHz.

How get the bounty

Anyone around the world can work on this, including Microsoft, Upload your code, examples and documentation to GitHub. First person / group to get RGB out with distance values being used wins, you’re smart ” you know what would be useful for the community out there. All the code needs to be open source and/or public domain. Email us a link to the repository, we and some “other” Kinect for Xbox 360 hackers will check it out ” if it’s good to go, you’ll get the $2,000 bounty!

More information at Adafruit Blog