If there is one truth about the world of hardware, it is the fact that hackers are always on top, especially when it comes to using devices in ways that they were never intended for. And this latest hack seems to confirm that little fact of life. That being said, does anyone fancy playing around on an Android tablet with hand gestures, courtesy of Microsoft's Kinect motion-based controller?
Picture this situation: you are relaxing on a couch after a hard day's work, and that expensive, fututistic tablet powered by Google's Android mobile operating system is connected to the home theatre system, churning out your favourite music files. And with a wave of your hand, the tablet automatically interpretes the gesture and switches over to another track, thus saving you the effort of having to get up and walk over to the device to do so.
Sounds futuristic? Perhaps, but don't be surprised if such features could find their way to Android-powered tablets in a matter of years, especially when hacker inguinity knows no bounds. Apparently, one such enterprising hacker known as HirotakaSter has managed to craft out a method which allows the Android operating system to interface with Microsoft's very own Kinect motion controller. What makes this act significant though, is the fact that this is reportedly the world's first successful attempt to get the Kinect in a semi-working state on the mobile OS.
Notice that we said 'semi-working state' in the previous paragraph? Well, that's because the Kinect hack on Android is still pretty much in a work-in-progress state: at the time of writing, the Android-powered tablet may be able to recognize the device, but it is still incapable of translating typical Kinect gestures into workable commands yet. Indeed, all it can do right now is to transfer the Kinect's video grab onto the tablet's screen and interprete user distance information, as shown in the short clip below.
However, the fact that HirotakaSter was able to get the Android operating system to even recognize the Kinect motion sensor means that at least half the battle is already won. In fact, the only thing left for the hacker and modding community to do is to analyze the calls made by the Kinect controller to the Android OS and attempt to craft out a working API that is capable of bringing most of Kinect's functionality over to the Android platform. And when that happens…well, let's just say that the idea of contactless PC interaction is bound to receive a major boost.
Unfortunately, in order to do so, the community will need access to the hack written by HirotakaSter, and this is where there is an immediate obstacle to clear. Apparently, HirotakaSter has yet to pony up the source code he has written for Android hack, but it appears that the hacker community might not have to wait much longer for it. After all, sharing is a key aspect of the hacker culture, no?