Well well, what do we have here? Does Microsoft encourage people to hack its products? well it seems so! Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360 has been well in the news since it was launched on November 4. Microsoft claim that they have deliberately left open a provision for people wanting to hack the Kinect, contradicting their earlier statement that it would “work closely with law enforcement” to make sure that the Kinect is not tampered with.

The history of people trying to hack into the Kinect goes quite a way back, where Google engineer Matt Cutts had put up a bounty for anyone who could write simple hacks for the Kinect, similarly the open source community has also put up a bounty for producing an open source driver for the Kinect. In respect to this, Microsoft has said that it does not condone the modification of its products.

At first it was obvious that Microsoft was not at all pleased with the notion that people were trying to break into its shiny new product, but suddenly we saw a shift on November 19th when director of incubation for Xbox, Alex Kipman said:

Kinect was not actually hacked. Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit inside of the Xbox and was able to actually use them. Which hasn’t happened. Or, it means that you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened. That’s what we call hacking, and that’s what we put a ton of work and effort in to make sure doesn’t actually occur. What has happened is someone wrote a open source driver for PCs, which essentially opens the USB connection, which we didn’t protect by design, and reads the inputs from the sensor.

It has also been mentioned that there would be no legal action against people who will be involved in such sort of activities, rather the notion is here is that Microsoft is actually intrigued as to what people can come up with and write for its new peripheral, the Kinect.

via Mashable



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