Microsoft Kinect shows potential – Your classroom next?

Unless you have been living in a dark shell for the last 6 months you will know about Microsoft kinect. In my opinion the advertising for kinect doesn’t show the actual potential of the kinect technology. I think the most promising aspect of Kinect is the Speech recognition and it looks like Microsoft may of actually got this right..

Each bing = good.

So it appears to work, and if we can just say, y’know. Collect 3 stars there is no need for incidents like this:

This video shows the potential of using Kinect’s depth perception to control a user interface with multitouch.

Finally, The facial recognition is supposed to really good. Sounds like the Kinect hardware is going to be a winner. I don’t know what % of users will end up owning a 360 so my recommendation to you is to treat the Kinect as a separate platform.

If you are a developer I would consider focusing on preparing your offline and online material for “Kinect aware” devices. If Kinect aware adobe flash content begins popping up it could create a whole new market place and genre of game.

This video shows how the Kinect can replace a conventional smart board:

This video shows it’s potential use to control puppets!! Awesome!

Here is a video that demonstrates how game creators are compensating poor control quality by adding auto steering to make the gaming experience feel less detached..

This is nice, it shows using multiple Kinects to map a physical space to a 3d model.

Remind anyone of the Eyes to the front proposal I did?

Kinect gesture recognition controlling web browser(chrome)

Some guy in Essex has written a driver for controlling Windows 7 (sort of like a touch screen)

If MS release face detection as part of an API then a simple facial detection system for class registration.

Kinect could also be used as a tool for assigning IWB control to pupils.

I think we should look past the obvious of just UI control in a touchscreen format, we must remember the potential for depth.

Here we can see a kinect being used to pass control from one user to another..

Scrobbling Learning

Scrobbling is a process uses to figure out the type of music you like.  It is about 90% accurate and over time builds a more and more accurate profile about what you “might like”.  A while back we have entered into an Internet age of recommendations.  Amazon adopted it a long time ago, it is about 20% accurate for me.

Recommendation engines do work but they must rely on users not only “doing” tasks but feeding back if they felt it was a positive/negative experience and if the recommendation engine should of recommended the item or not.  For example even though is 90% accurate for me sometimes I block a song but get the rest of the songs from that artist.

A project called ROLE intends to profile a learner based and recommend content based on their learning profile.

Currently the project is in an abstraction and development phase.  I appreciate the concept.  I think it is possible, doable and feasible and should have a number of practical purposes.

ROLE has many more challenges to face, such as what type of content is being delivered and is the learner more focused on a type of content IE biology or a type of learning style or will it approach it with a 3d angle of trying to profile the style of learner and the content desired?

The largest challenge ROLE faces it the natural opposition from educators feeling like their workload is being converted into a factory style process. I hope ROLE get a decent video up on YouTube explaining the challenges they face and how they intend to address them. It appears for an open project they are having lots of problems communicating to the wider public exactly what they are trying to achieve and why developers should get involved.  I hear some recent employees have been brought in to address this and I think that is a huge + and I’m looking forward to seeing what they achieve!

Conservatives will be radical on Education

Recently the Culture spokesman for the Conservatives was on hard talk.
He said conservative policies would focus on:
  1. Putting information out to the public
  2. Openness
  3. Transparency
  4. Technology
  5. Competition (both public and private sector)
The idea is that by using technology they can reduce public spending, I have done a few posts on how ICT can be used to save money in Primary Schools before so this ties in well with my views.
“The democratisation of information – primarily through technology – has revolutionised the way we act and interact. Individuals have direct control over what they want to know and when they know it” — Conservative party education policy 2009.
To summarize: The conservatives know the internet is a big deal… Well done……..
Technology or ICT barey gets a mention in the policy however there is space to mention “Strict school uniform policies, with blazer, shirt and tie and with a zero-tolerance of incorrect or untidy dress.”
How a policy can prioritise the issue of school uniform over the use of technology baffles me and shows a backwards approach to 21st century learning.
I’m not pro or against any party, I’m still convinced labour will whip an ace from up it’s sleave a few months before the general election and David Milliband will replace Gordon Brown which will have a massive impact on opinion polls.
As for the lib dem’s I can’t even find their education policy and as for Labour when I go to their website I can’t get over the fact the main focus their page design points to is to donate money to the government, is the economy really that bad?
To summarize:
Lib Dems: ArgleBargle.