Signs the US Can Still Innovate

The United States has been left for dead along with capitalism by a good number of people around the world.  People often forget that Microsoft and Apple were born out of past deep recessions, by authentic tinkerers who dared to dream.

There are a new set of viral videos over the last couple of days from a man named Oliver Kreylos at UC Davis.  His videos of the results of his hacking of the new XBox platform called Kinect which is able to allow gamers to use their bodies as the controller.  Oliver has essentially inverted the system, turning the sensors into 3D cameras that can recreate what the Kinect actually sees.  The results are remarkable, and the possibilities are astonishing considering this technology just hit “main street”.  I have pasted a number of links below to his most recent work.

I don’t know if Oliver is the originator of this hack and I am not surmising that he is the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, but I am truly inspired by his simple first steps.  It feels to me that this sort of garage innovation is a great reminder of what America still holds as a competitive advantage over the rest of the world: the disruptive combination of wealth and talent.

The videos of his breakthroughs are prehistoric looking for people spoiled by HD video, but it opens the door to a whole new host of applications.

And he seems to be keeping a Kinect hacking blog here: http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev/Kinect/

For more cool videos of connect hacks and applications check out: http://kinecthacks.net/

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