The Kinect is the hacking gift that keeps on giving. Whether it’s recreating the Minority Report interface, generating holograms, or just making life a bit more comic, the Kinect has been hacked six ways from Sunday. And yet, the great hacks just keep rolling in. Ryan Challinor, a programmer at Harmonix Music Systems, has created Synapse, a toolkit that makes it easy for someone to control Ableton Live, Quartz Composer, and MaxMSP using a Kinect.
Inspired by YouTube videos of others using the Kinect to make music (especially Dubstep), Challinor decided to use the experience he had programming Dance Central for the XBox and create a way for people to easily connect the Kinect to tools already used by musicians. He created it as a performance tool for Burning Man, and has now released it as a free software package for other people to use.
If you’re interested in giving Synapse a try for yourself, all you need is a Kinect and a copy of one of the programs it works with. It’s compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows. For an example of what you can do with Synapse, Quartz Composer and Ableton Live, check out the video demo from Challinor below.
Blair Hanley Frank is waiting for someone to make a realistic conducting simulator.
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