A new Kinect mod allows you to turn any object into a lightsaber, complete with lights and sound. Jedi powers not included though.
It's a cruel twist of fate and physics that puts the finest hand-to-hand weapon ever dreamed up - the lightsaber - forever out of reach. That's where the technical wizard known only by his YouTube handle, "Yankeyan," steps in, with a lightsaber Kinect hack that lets you at least pretend that you're a laser sword wielding space wizard, if only for a little while.
Built using open source image processing software and drivers, the hack allows the Kinect sensor to track what looks like a broom handle and add the iconic glow and sound effects in real time. The sensor isn't actually tracking the handle itself per se, but rather some colored markers on it. In order to demonstrate that it was working, Yankeyan placed a mirror by the screen so that we could see the handle was just wood as he moves it around. When he first picks up the broom handle, you can see the marker reflected in the mirror, just above where he grips it.
It isn't perfect just yet, obviously, but as a proof of concept, it seems pretty successful. Considering how much ingenuity the Kinect hackers are showing and the speed that they're creating new hacks, I can't wait to see what this becomes with a little more refinement and a little more time.