Ubuntu and Microsoft… not exactly a match made in heaven, but academic Gibson Hu from the University of Sydney has made the relationship work. Gibson’s married Kinect with the Linux-powered operating system and with the help of a few other tools, transformed the motion-detecting device into a parking aid.
The Kinect sensor is located on the lower-part of the rear bumper and can generate various views, from top-down to infra-red. While you can use it like a traditional back-facing camera, Gibson has gone to the trouble of programming it with collision detection. There’s even a big, flashing red “STOP” sign in the GUI so you know when to, uh, not-crash.
It can’t actually take the reins and park your car (at least, not yet), but I’m still fascinated by the different uses people have found for Microsoft’s hardware.