Last year, Microsoft Research announced a Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Guinness Record-Making Kinect Sensor. Afterwards, we watched the world create the Kinect Effect. Now everyone can join in February 1, 2012 with official release of Kinect for Windows.
Later this year, we will offer special academic pricing (planned at US $149) for Qualified Educational Users.
Kinect for Windows
Kinect Effect on YouTube: http://youtu.be/diy7rkWkDtU
The big question for educators: How will you use natural (human) user experiences to create relevant, compelling, and meaningful engagement with and for your learners?
The Kinect Sensor challenged video game designers to think more anew about interactivity without a handheld controller. Then other companies and individuals took the Kinect experience further with medical applications and robotics.
We have Innovative Educators that have produced remarkable learning experiences that were either built with the Kinect Sensor or the Kinect Sensor is core to the learning experiences. The vanguards of the immersive learning are already here.
I am a pragmatic optimist when it comes to espousing the educational power and opportunity that comes from the careful integration of technology into the classroom. When it is done well, as Bernajean Porter once remarked, the new learning experience was impossible to achieve without the thoughtful inclusion of technology. Like many of you, I have more often than not seen it done poorly.
I have seen warehouses of computers never deployed or computers deployed with no network or power supply to support them. I have seen computers abandoned to dusty corners of the classrooms, never turned on or updated, let alone used for learning. I have seen hallways of abandoned electronic whiteboards because no one ever installed them.
And I have seen schools spend millions on really expensive paper and pencils that they called tablet computers. In the end, they only do what they did before more expensively.
The Kinect for Windows opportunity creates a new occasion to shift our thinking about what immersive learning means in and out of the classroom. It would be a sad mistake to think of the Kinect Sensor as a web camera. Kinect is about computer vision—giving your computer the ability to see, hear, and respond.
I can imagine a student practicing dissecting a frog at home on his or her XBOX 360 or Windows PC with Kinect. Then the following day, she or he will have to take the simulated learning into the real world and dissect a real animal.
I can see students sharing and manipulating real objects in virtual space at a distance with the Kinect Sensor.
The time when imagination takes flight is when Kinect’s computer vision is combined with other modern classroom and consumer technologies to something we have yet to imagine or consider. The Kinect Sensor alone will not change the classroom to improve learning. However, I am confident that smart people, unbridled by present reality, will create a lasting and viral impact on learning with Kinect for Windows.
The question now: Are you smart people? I think you are clever!
For more information on Kinect for Windows:
- The Next Big Thing in Learning!
- Skype Joins Microsoft!
- Microsoft OneNote Debuts on iPad
- We The People Want More Broadband Investments for Our Nation's Classrooms
- Visually-Impaired Student Solves Accessibility Challenge, Becomes an Entrepreneur
- Professional Academic Communities in Yammer
- Windows 8 Release Preview in Pictures