Those Kinect hacks appearing all over the internet are awesome. If you're impressed with what developers can pull off on their own, wait till Microsoft releases the official Windows 7 SDK for the Xbox 360's motion control system.
You heard that right. The Kinect's promise of bringing gesture-based controls to future computing just got more real. Since its release in November of last year, the sensor bar's 3D imaging capabilities has sent people dreaming up ways to put that impressive technology to good use.
With the Kinect for Windows SDK in tow, coders need not just settle for the raw data everyone's been extracting with current hacks -- the high-level functions of the camera will be available for turning out a whole host of gesture-based applications. Using the provided drivers and libraries, interfacing with the RGB camera, mic array and control motors should all be just a few lines of code away, paving the way for some seriously sophisticated functions.
The Kinect for Windows SDK will be released as a free download beginning this Spring. Aimed towards academics and enthusiasts, it's strictly for use in non-commercial software for now, but will be expanded for commercial titles after Microsoft finalizes its licensing details.