Adafruit Industries, an open source hardware developer, has announced an X prize style $2000 bounty to the whoever can first develop open source drivers for Kinect.
Kinect, previously known as Project Natal, is a motion sensing technology developed by Microsoft primarily for gaming. It is already available for the Xbox 360 already. It is also expected to be available for PC later (possibly with Windows 8).
To win the bounty anyone or a group have to develop a working driver on any platform, including Windows, and upload it with full documentation and an open-source license ti GitHub.
Initially the bounty offered was $1000, but after CNET ran the story, Microsoft was not impressed and said this to CNET:
Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.
In reply to this statement from Microsoft, Adafruit Industries have doubled the bounty to $2000.
Kinect is a great technology and an open source driver for Kinect will see interesting uses not only for gaming - but in robotics, education etc. And best of all an open source driver for Kinect opens up the user interface in computers to a whole new dimension.
Read more about it here.