When you hear hacking, what do you think? Most people imagine something seen in films… bad guys hacking into banks, stealing money, things like this. But this is not always the case. Sometimes it has a good purpose.
Consider this, on November 10th 2010 the xbox Kinect was hacked. What does that mean? In this case it meant a driver was written for the xbox so that anyone could connect to the device (with something like linux) and start writing code that interacts with the xbox and uses it. In other words, it makes the xbox like a usb device anyone could write code for. And people did.
Over the years I’ve seen people write code for the Kinect that is simply amazing. I’ve seen people use the kinetic as “eyes” for mobile robots, so that the robot can scan a room for objects.
But today on the BBC show click, I saw something which could be life changing. A team modified a kinect so that it can covert objects nearby into sound. So that blind people have a way of seeing object in their way. Stick an xbox on and connect some earphones and bingo, you’ve got yourself some sonar bat like ears :)
None of this would be possible without the hack, without the driver.