Updates to this story
A $2,000 bounty is being offered to the first developer who creates an open source driver for the Kinect, despite the proposal meeting with Microsoft's staunch disapproval.
The original bounty was $1,000, offered by Adafruit Industries, an open source electronics seller and advocate. However, when Microsoft found out about the bounty and voiced its dissatisfaction Adafruit decided to double the offer.
“Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products,” a Microsoft spokesperson told CNET. “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”
The bounty appears to have caused a rift between the two companies, with Adafruit not taking kindly to Microsoft's response. “Don’t make us up it to $3k,” it threatened, which surely won't go down well at Redmond.
Prospective bounty hunters are require to develop drivers for the Kinect for any operating system, but they must be fully documented and issued under an open source license to be eligble. Developers must also write an application demonstrating the driver and showcasing video and depth.
The outcome of such a driver, should Microsoft not take actions to prevent its circulation, could allow the Kinect to work with other systems beside the Xbox 360, such as a rival console or even a PC or Mac, giving new possible uses for the motion capture hands-free device.
The Kinect was released in the US on 4 November, with the European release set for 10 November.