The recent legacy of the Sony Playstation and its related troubles have been well documented — and discussed — here. The once-open system has now sunken into a quagmire of a failed network and heavy-handed legal tactics, all in an effort to apparently prevent piracy. Meanwhile, the Xbox culture continues to roll on, unimpeded, red ring of death be damned.
Although Microsoft remained silent on Sony’s recent issues, they did invite hackers to come up with new uses for the Xbox and its latest peripheral, the Kinect. Talk about different approaches to a customer base. Sony would rather embark misguided attempts in an effort to control every aspect of the PS3, even after they’ve already been purchased, regardless of the hypocrisy involved in their actions. Remember, when PS3s were first launched, owners — not borrowers, mind you — could install Linux on them.
Now, we have Microsoft playing the part of supportive company that invites creativity, a stance that’s pretty surprising considering the way they control the Windows property. With the Xbox Kinect, however, company developers have been incredibly supportive of user hacks, inviting those who are capable to create something above and beyond for the console’s environment. Apparently, it this kind of invitation that inspired the developers at AR Door to create a Kinect hack that turns the Xbox into a virtual fitting room.
According to the site, the hack is being used in conjunction with the Topshop retail clothes store, and it allows would-be customers to try on a variety of outfits, all without removing one article of real clothing, or waiting on a dressing room to open up. The site reveals more about the virtual dressing room hack:
The virtual fitting room is built on the most sophisticated technologies: augmented reality and Microsoft Kinect. Augmented reality allows the customers to select a garment off the rack without having to try it on physically. As a customer, you see yourself onscreen with a 3D copy of a dress. Kinect allows the user to control the program by simple gestures pushing virtual buttons right in the air.
Not only that, but would-be shoppers can view the front and the back of the article they are trying on, giving them a much better idea of the clothing’s fit and look, without having to twist their necks into weird angles. There is, naturally, a video of the process in action, which, once again, would not be possible without Microsoft’s open approach to hackers and their abilities in relation to the Xbox environment:
So is this what GeoHot had in mind when he initially hacked the PS3 OS? Doubtful, but should Sony be so strong-armed about the process either? There’s nothing at all wrong with wanting to police your service for pirates and those playing stolen games, but perhaps the smart strategy is to avoid alienating the entire culture of console hackers, people who aren’t just hacking their console in order to play a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Believe it or not, these folks exist as well. Just re-watch the above video if you need further proof.