What better motivator for a hack than bringing fun to your fellow brainiacs? At Maker Faire UK 2011, a pub-hatched hack came to life rather quickly when Tom Wyatt and friends conceived of the idea to hook a Kinect up to a pair of Tesla coils [source: Frank].
In simple terms, a Tesla coil (named for its inventor, Nikola Tesla) is a transformer that produces extremely high-voltage, high-frequency electrical currents. When the electricity is discharged, sparks are emitted. You've probably seen this effect employed in movies. By using the Kinect's motion-tracking technology to correlate user movement to the frequency of the Tesla coils' current, this hack created the illusion of lightning shooting from the user's hands. Suddenly, even the most mild-mannered gent is transformed into Lord Palpatine.
Don't let all that power go to your head! The next hack in the lineup has the potential to be a real life-saver.