Microsoft’s new motion sensor controller Kinect doesn’t look very impressive if you only look at what it can do on the Xbox 360. What is more impressive is what the open source community is doing with the device. It is here where we can see some of the products enormous potential.

The Kinect was hacked three hours after it was released by a guy called Hector Martin, who was awarded a $3000 prize. Now programmers around the world are discovering innovative new ways to explore and exploit the devices potential.

Below are 3 videos showing the power of the device. The first shows how Kinect acts as an ‘eye’ for a robot (the technological mash-up uses an iRobot – a robot that costs around £400). The second shows how Kinect can see in 3d. And the third shows how the machine can learn visually.

These videos show why Kinect really matters. It seems that a robot that can truly see, can learn the name of objects and is able to perfectly navigate around the house is just around the corner.

Going from these videos it won’t be long until robots become a part of the home. Will they become as ubiquitous as computers are nowadays?

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