Stephen Fry backs project to make the Xbox Kinect do other interesting things

Well known comedian and tech icon Stephen Fry is happy for people to hack the new Xbox Kinect and play with it. That at least appears to be his intention, after he tweeted to his many followers that they should back a new thing called the OpenVizsla project. And it seems like quite a good idea.

A featured project on Kickstarter it promptly took $8,000 in a day (without any press attention). The group is shooting for $17,500 in 30 days and is already on $9,421 on its page. Stephen Fry has contributed money to the project here.

Who’s doing this? The guys behind the iPhone Dev Team, who became well known after tearing apart the iPhone to make it do things Apple wouldn’t allow, like software-based SIM unlock for the iPhone 3G.

One of their members, “Pytey”, got in contact with us to say they have started OpenVizsla to build a high-speed open-source USB 2.0 hardware sniffer/protocol
analyzer. What’s that?

Well, the idea is to ensure that the features of “closed USB” peripherals can be unlocked and made available to other operating systems, thus creating an open-source, open-hardware project where all the device plans, firmware and software are opened up.

The upshot is that they used this project to reverse engineer USB traffic on the new Kinect attachments for the Xbox 360. Now hackers can start playing around with the device and creating even more Minoroity Report style effects.