In March, Guinness World Records named Microsoft's (MSFT
) Kinect for the Xbox 360 as history's fastest-selling consumer electronics device. The sensor sold 8 million units in its first 60 days, surpassing even Apple's (AAPL
) iPhone and iPad. Much like those gadgets, the Kinect is starting to make its way into business.
Hackers are using Kinect's camera and sensors, hooking them up to personal computers with open-source software. The technology can turn a personal computer into a two-way window: Not only can users see the computer; now the computer is aware of the person using it.
In the past five months, hackers have embedded Kinect cameras and sensors in robots as an inexpensive way to help them see and navigate. Developers are making it possible for people to control computers with gestures. Some surgeons are using the Kinect in operating rooms so they can look at CT scans in a sterile environment without having to touch a computer. Check out 10 of the ways programmers are morphing Kinect's technology in modes that extend far beyond gaming.