A New Aproach to Education with Kinect 2nd Screen

A couple of years ago I developed a desktop application that I called “2nd Screen”.

I made this application for one specific use but has resulted in so many other applications like entertainment, conferencing tool, teaching tool, etc. And this time I will like to talk about how I have been using it as an education tool for teaching.

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Its proposed uses as an educational tool has two alternatives, one as support for presentation or exhibition on the class teacher and the other as virtual experimentation tool for the student.

Here some examples of use:

Suppose that in a class for elementary school we are talking about gravity and to explain in more detail and in a better way, it is explained with a simple example of how the gravity of the moon differs from that of the earth. What if at this time, we request the participation of one of the children, we put it “virtually”on the moon wearing an astronaut suit and all and asking him to walk. What would happen if with him/her walks?, or what if he/she jumps ? Or if he/she runs? With the help of Kinect and the 2nd screen app, we can make the child float or even roll with the effect of the gravity. The child is being practically on the moon, is experiencing that feeling while other children see the same projection. Most likely there are more children wanting to participate and will make the experience a topic of discussion in class. What is sure is that this kind of experiences, will be hard to forget for them for the ones who experimented it or for those who enjoyed seeing their friends participate.

Here applies a phrase that says… “If I hear, I forget… if I see, I remember… if I do, I learn.”

Another example, could be for a young high school boy or girl that is supposed to solve a physics, where you can put practically him/her resolve the problem by him/herself.

As anyone knows, Mathematics and Physics are very abstract topics, that in most cases even if the student understand all the formulas and how to use them, in a real situation you may be difficult to know or remember how to apply them when needed, but that should be different if you already applied them in real situations.

This tool can also be useful in other topics as well, like history, explanation of theorems, chemistry topics, ethics, etc. even if it is not required from the student to provide a solution to a problem but rather than that, placing the student there at that time. In conclusion, is like having a portable virtual lab for the students all thanks to technology of the Kinect sensor.

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A new aproach to cosplay events using the Kinect Technology

I have been working with kinect since the launch of the first SDK a few years ago, finding new ways to do things that could make use of the benefits of this technology.

You can find a lot of ways to employ it in fields that you can’t even imagine why they are not already using it. One of this uses is for Cosplays, According to internet, Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure?), is a portmanteau of costume play, is a performance art in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and fashion accessories to represent a specific character or idea that is usually identified with a unique name. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play. A broader use of the term “cosplay” applies to any costumed role-play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context. Favorite sources include manga and anime, comic books and cartoons, video games, and live-action films.

So, as it says above, Cosplayers wants to represent their favorite character as if they were them. Is not just dressing like them, is actually being them, expressing like them. Well, why not give them the opportunity to be inside their game, cartoon or film?. And not only the chance to be there but also their powers, what about flying? what about throwing hadokens, or being Mario fighting Goombas and Koopas, etc. Of course, you can do all of this with video post-production and green screen color keying. But this doesn’t give the feeling of being there, in realtime, acting or performing whatever you want of yours favorite character. All of this could be made with Kinect, without any needs for advanced studio or green screen walls; just the kinect, your computer and a good light.
This is what this project is about, an experiment of how this sensor could help as a support tool for Cosplay performers, or just any one who would like to be in the shoes of any super hero, anime character or film actor. Using the functionality of background removal, the program puts the cosplayer in the corresponding stage, with the aid for skeletal tracking, the cosplayer could easily wear any weapon or custome that could serve its purpose, and fight with their nemesis virtually.