Microsoft surely did not figure out that their Kinect project would actually have resulted in so many hacks and mods, not to say that the collection of those mods are a bad thing. Take Kinecthesia for example – this particular project features a Kinect that is wired to a set of motors, enabling the blind or visually impaired to navigate around a room (or even in an open space), using feedback via the motors in order to assess objects in their path.
The project was conceived by students over at the University of Pennsylvania, namely Eric Berdinis and Jeff Kiske. You wear it like a belt, letting it sense objects in 3D space. Needless to say, plenty of refinement needs to go into the project before it can even be remotely commercially viable, but version 2.0 is already in the works even as you read this, where it will include a slimmed-down Kinect that has been removed from its case, in addition to a spanking new processor to get it going.