I've finally gotten around to setting up some PC hacks to free my Kinect from the shackles of everyday Xbox-life. Props to eroticfishcake for supplying me the link to a nice starting point for all of this. If anyone else is interested, here's that link: http://openkinect.org/wiki/Main_Page
In order to set this all up, you need to have some form of compiler. I happen to have Microsoft's Visual Studio since I've previously taken classes that required it. Most of the instructions give examples for Visual Studio, so it's probably the easiest program to use. All other programs and files--of which there are many--are available through links on the installation instructions page. I did the set up to use in Windows, which actually seems more complicated than the setup for other operating systems, but I wasn't about to go try and find my Ubuntu install disc. Anyway, the process involves a bit of DOS work, a lot of file downloading and copying various files, pointing programs to the downloaded files, then compiling everything and testing. It's not super difficult to figure out if you're into computers; it just takes some time to feel everything out. If you're not that type of person, you should probably stay away. I decided to make a couple of videos showing off the very basic tech-demo programs that are given to you after setting everything up. There are three tests, and I have very little idea what any of them are actually meant to do. Well OK, I do know what one of them does.
(Pro-tip: The volume on these is low. You may need to crank it up a bit.)
Tests 1 & 2:
There you have it. Those are just a few very basic tech-demoy tests, but I hope to take this further as I learn more about all of this stuff. There's a list of potential project ideas on the above-linked site that sound like all kinds of crazy. Things like: a virtual keyboard, 3D object scanning, 3D drum kit, a sign language interpreter, and all kinds of other crazy projects. Most of those may never be completed, but it's cool thinking about them. I'd bet that once Microsoft releases some official tools for this thing, people are going to go crazy.
As little as I have at the moment, it still feels like an accomplishment. I'll be sure to write a "part two" to this if I ever am able to implement some truly awesome stuff.