Only a few hours after the release of Microsoft Kinect libfreenect – an Open Source Driver for the Kinect device for Linux – has been released by Hector Martin (via creativeapplications and memo.tv). Shortly afterwards, the driver has also been ported to Windows and OS X. Check it out in the libfreenect git repository.
In the video above you can see how the Kinect device is technically working: It projects a point pattern via an IR laser into a room and calculates a depth image via image processing.
You can see an overview of the libfreenect Open Source driver functionality here: