Microsoft announced yesterday that they are working with Sesame Street, Sesame Street Workshop, National Geographic and other leading academics and learning research institutions in order to bring new interactive learning content on the Xbox 360 platform. This content will be made interactive by Kinect. Microsoft seeks to turn the TV in to an immersive learning experience for the kids and adults alike. Disney is also apparently on board for another family game that is currently code-named Rush. This will be one of the multiple additions that Microsoft seeks to make to their family gaming titles portfolio.
In association with experts from Sesame Street and Nat Geo, Microsoft is producing individual series like
“Kinect Sesame Street TV,” “Kinect Nat Geo TV” and code-named “Project Columbia”
These are endeavors that seek to inspire kids to collaborate be active and learn all at the same time. These seek to engage the kids and provide a more effective learning environment for them. The Kinect Sesame Street TV is a special interactive show being produced jointly by Microsoft and Sesame Street. The sessions will be driven by the Kinect’s motion tracking and gesture recognition features, allowing children to use natural movements and just develop motor skills.
The Kinect Nat Geo TV also seeks to engage kids and transform their TV watching habits in to more active ones. But the most exciting of them all is probably what has been code named as Project Columbia. Developed in association with Sesame Workshop Curriculum Team by Microsoft, this is a project that seeks to bring books back to kids. This one of a kind project uses the Xbox 360 platform and Kinect’s features in order to bring stories to life like never before. It allows kids to become part of the stories themselves. This not only fosters reading habits but it also challenges their minds by creating an role-playing environment. Kids will interact with illustrations and words and thus freely enter a learning environment and participate actively in it.
For anyone with young children at home, creating an environment where they can learn and have fun at the same time can become challenging. Microsoft has right pointed out that the promise of interactive TV and learning has not been delivered by any one so far. All the programming out there cannot really involve kids without some kind of an interface like the Kinect. Hence, this experience from Microsoft is definitely going to be the first of its kind.
The Sesame Street shows will feature popular characters from Sesame Street who will play their own roles in helping the children learn the alphabets, numbers and basic maths like addition, substraction, etc. The Nat Geo shows will contain programming from Nat Geo WILD and will help children learn about animals. The shows will have children friendly user interfaces that children will be able to to use intuitively instead of being forced to learn something new. Look at the video on the Press Release to get a better idea of what Microsoft has in store for the little ones.