Hacking the Kinect is as cool as it sounds.It isn’t hacking in the purest sense. Â It is more like connecting the Kinect to your computer instead of your XBox 360. Â You use the open source drivers to control and receive data. Â The kinds of projects being done with the Kinect are very cool.
The Open Source drivers and instructions can be found at the Open Kinect site. Â These drivers only allow you to control and get the data from the depth and color cameras. Â Unless you plan to take pictures or video with the Kinect, you have to do more.
There are 2 packages for taking the depth video and turning it into something useful. Â The first is OpenCV. Â The code sample for integrating OpenCV and Kinect is here. Â The second is OpenNI and PrimeSense. Â PrimeSense is the company that provided the sensing technology to Microsoft for the Kinect. Â The instructions for getting OpenNI, PrimeSence and OpenKinect working together is here.
For my purposes, the OpenNI/PrimeSense route was what I needed. Â I suggest you look through the sample applications to see how to interact with the Kinect’s data.