When the USB interface for Microsoft’s Kinect Xbox accessory was open-sourced, we knew that when we saw developers rushing to add compatibility for Mac computers, hacking the device to introduce rudimentary Augmented Reality support to systems, a Star Wars Lightsaber hack would not be too far from being realised.
Official support of a Star Wars game is almost a certainty but developers didn’t want to wait that long to get their Lightsaber fix. A YouTube user, going by the name Ankeyan, utilised the newly created OpenKinect drivers, added some image processing, tracking and rendering using OpenCV and managed to output a real-time Lightsaber effect using just his PC.
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Programming the Kinect to monitor his position and the wooden stick in his hands, Ankeyan was able to adapt his image processing software to render a Lightsaber effect over the stick and leave YouTube viewers suitably impressed.
Also included for your viewing pleasure is a video of the Lightsaber hack in action:
Whilst Microsoft and LucasArts might be a little annoyed at the Star Wars party starting before they got the chance to release offerings, all that hacks like this can do is increase demand for such games, surely?