Bringing quality education to the countryside

Bringing quality education to the countryside
Bringing quality education to the countryside

Providing top-notch schooling in rural communities is a problem around the world—and one that China, a country with more than 600 million rural residents, is committed to tackling. A big part of this effort centers on using technology to bring the urban classroom, with its greater teaching resources, to the rural schoolhouse. Among the Chinese…


Getting your kicks with Kinect for Windows

Getting your kicks with Kinect for Windows
Getting your kicks with Kinect for Windows

A wall, a ball, and a kid: think about it. When you were a youngster on a playground, and a wall and a ball were at hand, what would you do? If you were like most kids, you’d kick or throw that ball against the wall, moving around with the unbridled energy of youth as…


Remix the music with Kinect

Remix the music with Kinect
Remix the music with Kinect

This spring, visitors to Seattle radio station KEXP’s new home are being treated to the ultimate air-guitar experience: as they pass through a 4,000-square-foot art installation, their movements alter the music of some of the station’s most popular artists. This innovative project—dubbed a “virtual remix”—uses Kinect for Windows to capture the visitors’ body movements. The…


Kinect brings enrichment to zoo orangutans

Orangutans have long fascinated people by their humanlike behaviors (the name “orangutan” actually means “man of the forest” in Malay). These great apes not only share 97 percent of our DNA, they also mirror such human characteristics as social interaction, child nurturing, and curiosity—which is why it’s no big surprise that they enjoy a good…


Is Kinect for Windows Darth Vader’s secret?

As every Star Wars fan knows, telekinesis—the ability to move physical objects by using mental energy—is a major aspect of the Force. Who can forget Darth Vader telekinetically choking Admiral Motti in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope? Well, now that the latest film in the Star Wars franchise has been released, the developers…


Kinect gaming with a mission

Walking through the grocery store, you spy a bag of potato chips on the shelf. They’re your favorite—sea salt and vinegar—and they’re on special! Without breaking stride, you snag a bag from the display and continue on your way, hopefully in search of a more nutritious food choice. Easy for most of us, but not…


Kinect makes programming robotic arm a cinch

What might you do with a robotic arm? Well, if you’re part of the maker community, the possibilities are almost endless. Hook it up to an Arduino or Raspberry Pi controller, and you’ll have a companion that can paint, sort objects, play games, and generally amaze your friends and relatives. All you need is a…


Gamified therapy offers hope to the elderly

Dementia: the statistics are sobering. According to the World Health Organization, 47.5 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, with 7.7 million new cases occurring every year. In the United States alone, there are currently more than 5 million people with Alzheimer’s, and that number is predicted to double…


Games highlight Kinect sensor’s value in robotics

They probably won’t get a ticker tape parade like the U.S. national women’s soccer team did after winning the 2015 World Cup, but the winners of the recent 2015 RoboCup certainly deserve their moment in the sun. This international competition—it’s been held annually since 1997—features soccer-playing robots of different sizes and configurations. And while it…


NextStage turns Kinect sensor into a virtual production camera

We’re used to seeing applications in which Kinect for Windows tracks the movements of users—after all, that’s what the Kinect sensor is designed to do. But what if you picked up the Kinect sensor and moved it around, so that instead of the sensor tracking your movements, you could track the position and rotation of…