Hacker wins contest for open-source Kinect driver

The open-source hardware team at Adafruit will give the winner $3,000 as well as $2,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read
A hacker has won $3,000 for being the first to come up with an open-source driver for Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensitive controller. Adafruit Industries

A hacker won $3,000 today for being the first person to successfully create an open-source driver for Microsoft's Kinect motion-sensitive controller.

Last week, open-source hardware developers Adafruit Industries offered $1,000 to the first person or team to complete the task. After Microsoft told CNET that it did not "condone the modification of its products," Adafruit upped the bounty to $2,000 and later $3,000.

Now, Adafruit writes on its blog, a hacker named Hector has created the driver (see video below), and is taking home the three grand.

"Hector has decided to invest this bounty into hacking tools and devices for a group of people he works with closely (e.g. iPhone Dev Team members, Wii hacker team Team Twiizers, and a few others)," Adafruit writes on its blog post. "They don't have much expendable income to buy tools and devices to hack, and sometimes this hobby can be a bit expensive, this will be a good investment that will allow them to hack more and newer devices."

Adafruit, led by MIT Media Lab alum Limor Fried and "Make" magazine Senior Editor Phillip Torrone, said it has confirmed the driver worked. "Congrats to Hector," the post reads. "He's running all this on a Linux laptop (his code works with OpenGL) and doesn't even have an Xbox!"

In addition, Adafruit says it will donate $2,000 to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "From the start of this effort Microsoft said they were going to 'work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.'--if they did (or still plan to) the EFF would likely be our only hope (yours too)."