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You, robot: Kinect hacks make you into a machine

editor's notebook First we saw Minority Report-style interfaces. Now hackers are tweaking Microsoft's gestural-gaming system to let them control humanoid robots.

editor's notebook OK, this whole Kinect-hacking phenomenon is starting to make my head spin. (Funny that--the system is thus controlling my movements, rather than the other way round.)

First we started to see Minority Report-style interfaces, by way of which one could browse the Web with nothing more than a gesture or two.

Now things are getting really trippy. Thanks to Web site Kinect Hacks, we can watch as humanoid robots are controlled by users of Microsoft's gestural-gaming system.

How long before this setup gets combined with some sort of BattleBots competition for a true robotic smackdown? And on the fine arts front, I can see this combined with the mind of Jean Tinguely and the work of Survival Research Laboratories to produce some truly profound mayhem.

But that's small potatoes--for with this setup, who needs Second Life or other virtual worlds? Any day now we'll no doubt be able to send physical avatars out into the real world to do our bidding. By next holiday season, we'll probably be leaving it to our personal botatars to battle the crowds at Macy's (provided we practice our goods-snatching gestures enough to make them effective).

But you, gentle readers, are the truly in-the-know geeks. I realize it may take us awhile to get where we're going with all this, but where, exactly, might that be? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Credit for above video: YouTube user ikaziso.

Credit for above video: YouTube user hbenersuay.