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Blackwater video game lets you control war criminals with your Kinect

Erik Prince, the founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater (dropped from the roster of US military contractors due to their participation in horrific war crimes), has done a deal with 505 Games to produce an XBox 360 shooter game that will be controlled by Kinect motion-sensors. It's just the latest turn for the war criminals at Blackwater, who renamed their business "Xe" and hired John Ashcroft to serve as their ethics officer. For more on Blackwater's past, see Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
"This game and its immersive Kinect-based approach will give players the chance to experience what it is like to be on a Blackwater team on a mission without being dropped into a real combat situation," Prince said in a statement issued by 505. The game was developed with in conjunction with former Blackwater members "to ensure accuracy of moves, gestures and gameplay," the 505 release said. "The game also features a selection of officially-licensed weapons for your soldier to choose from."
Real-Life Mercenaries to Star in Blackwater, the Videogame

Kinect-controlled Disneyland sim lets you hug Mickey

Here's a demo of an immersive motion-controlled Disneyland simulator shown at this year's E3: using a Kinect, players can run around Disneyland, ride the rides, and even hug Mickey (which is a total show-stealer).

Star Wars Kinect & Disneyland Adventures - E3 2011 (via Wonderland)

Make your own customized Han in Carbonite Kinect model, suitable for 3D printing

YouTube user emnullfuenf is experimenting with making custom, 3D printable Han-in-Carbonite models using a Kinect:

This is an experiment with Kinect and Processing. People in front of it are posing like Han Solo and get frozen in 3D. We are already exporting the 3D models for 3D printing. So stay tuned. The software will be open source soon if anyone is interested.
Kinect Experiment: Freezing Han Solo (via Make)

Kinect makes UAV even more autonomous

A group of MIT students have used a Microsoft Kinect sensor-package to enable a UAV to map and fly circuits around a room:

Students have developed a real-time visual odometry system that can use a Kinect to provide fast and accurate estimates of a vehicle's 3D trajectory. This system is based on recent advances in visual odometry research, and combines a number of ideas from the state-of-the-art algorithms. It aligns successive camera frames by matching features across images, and uses the Kinect-derived depth estimates to determine the camera's motion.
MIT SLAM quad using Kinect (Thanks, Mark!)

Eye of Sauron made with Kinect and Pufferfish

The Technology Studio connected a Kinect sensor/camera to a Pufferfish round video screen and created their own animated Eye of Sauron that follows you around the room.

Kinect & Pufferfish Eye of Sauron (via Super Punch)

Kinect as 3D scanner: Fabricate Yourself

A new project uses the Microsoft Kinect as a crude 3D scanner. Joris from i.materialise sez, "Fabricate Yourself is a tool by Karl Willis of Interactive Fabrication. Released at the Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction Conference, the tool lets people strike a pose in front of a Microsoft Kinect. If they like the pose they can 3D print the result. The tool is not yet finished and improvements in resolution have to be made."

Fabricate Yourself: Using the Microsoft Kinnect to 3D print yourself (Thanks, Joris, via Submitterator!)

TSA "opt out" parody from the Red vs Blue creators

Rooster Teeth, creators of the brilliant Red vs Blue machinima series, produced this chortle-inducing short about the essential and creepy incoherence of the security theory that says aviation safety is improved by allowing the TSA to see and touch our junk.

TSA invades House Party (Thanks, AirPillo, via Submitterator!)

Microsoft promises not to sue Kinect hackers

A Microsoft spokesman told Ira Flatow on NPR's Science Friday that despite earlier threats, they wouldn't sue people who made and shared their own Kinect drivers.

$2K bounty for free/open Kinect drivers (Microsoft thinks this is illegal!)

Microsoft has just released its Kinect camera, a USB device that allows you to control your computer with gestures. It incorporates a motorized pivot, an RGB camera, depth-sensor and multi-array microphone "which provides full-body 3D motion capture, facial recognition, and voice recognition capabilities."

The Adafruit Industries people are offering a $2,000 bounty to the first person to write a fully open/free set of drivers for the Kinect so that it can be used as a peripheral in other hardware projects.

The bounty started out as $1,000, but the Adafruit folks doubled it after a Microsoft spokesdrone told CNet that they would "work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."

The Open Kinect project - THE OK PRIZE - get $2,000 bounty for Kinect for Xbox 360 open source drivers (now $2k)