The Kinect, as we all know, was introduced by Microsoft as a “controller-free gaming and entertainment experience” for its Xbox video game platform back in 2010. It allows players to interact with games through physical gestures rather than using a controller. Microsoft today revealed that the platform is helping children with disabilities play video games for the very first time.
“I think what we’re seeing with Kinect is that it’s revolutionizing the ways kids and families can play and interact. The ability to play games without a controller can be so intuitive that it’s making play for so many kids that wasn’t possible before possible now,” said Microsoft’s Global Public relation’s manager for the Xbox platform, Alisha Mark.
In a recent story published by Microsoft, the company goes on to give real-world examples of how the Kinect has impacted the lives of kids with disabilities.
Examples included how the PlayStation 3 has “too many buttons to push” and how its games intended for children “required too much focus.” In regards to the Nintendo Wii, it had “too controllers, buttons, and knobs, and you have to move your body. My daughter couldn’t do it, and [son] was just lost.”
A particular kid with Autism, which made it difficult for him to use a video game controller, had no problems using the Kinect. “It was the most amazing thing. I’ve never seen him smile in front of a video game. He always looked confused or puzzled. But he was playing. The other kids were watching him, not helping him.”
Apparently, from what Microsoft is reporting, the Kinect has made a personal impact to many disabled children. “It doesn’t always come down to bits and bytes and frames and packets. A lot of things we do have meanings that may not have been intended at the beginning. Xbox was a gaming system but it meant a lot more to me and family. It meant seeing my kids being active, seeing them interact with other children which they wouldn’t have done. Technology can make a huge difference in a very real way.”
Microsoft continues on a quest to further improve its Kinect motion gaming device as new updates are being worked on to increase the amount of data the Kinect’s camera could transmit to the console and quadruple the resolution to capture finger movement. Microsoft continues to boast that the Kinect is more accurate than ever all thanks to software updates and will only get better as time goes on.