Plug-&-Play Kinect Hacking

Anyone should be able to hack the kinect, not just programmers. Compiling OpenNI, for example, is a pain for programmers, and is near impossible for anyone else. Some friends and I at USC are trying to make the Kinect plug-&-play to get more people involved and creating amazing things.

We’re building Eyeball OS, a free and open-source operating system for BeagleBoard-xM that makes it easy to get started with the Kinect. It has all of the Kinect drivers pre-installed, and it includes several scripts that are useful for common applications, like generating 3d maps of rooms and skeleton tracking. We’re also releasing open-source visualizations designed to work with the maps or data it generates without having to install software or configure anything. Soon, anyone will be able to plug in a Kinect, run a script, and view a 3d map of their room in their web browser.

With an Eyeball, hobbyists have a low-cost, dedicated Kinect computer that’s small enough to be used with robots. It’s the first time non-programmers can play around with the Kinect, and it makes programmer’s lives easier, too, by getting rid of tedious and lengthy compiling on low-power devices.

We’re releasing it for early access on May 15th and trying to see if there’s interest in this.

Here’s how you can get started:

1. click download, and leave your email so we can let you know when it’s ready. (we’ll never spam, obviously)
2. Get a BeagleBoard-xM and a 16gb Class 10 SD card.

If you don’t know how to burn the operating system to an SD card, let me know and I’ll send you one already made for the price of the card.

There’s more info on the website, and pictures of map generated from it:

Let me know if you have any questions… I’m here to help.