Category Archives: Kinect

Video games help autistic students in classrooms

Video games help autistic students in classrooms

USA Today coverage, nice:

In real life, 9-year-old Michael has autism, as do his two classmates. All three have long struggled with the mental, physical and social rigors of school. All three now get help most days from video-game avatars — simplified digital versions of themselves doing things most autistic children don’t generally do. In Michael’s case, he’s recording “social stories” videos that remind him how to act. In his classmates’ cases — their parents asked that they not be identified — they’re playing games that help with coordination, body awareness and cooperation, all challenges for kids on the autism spectrum.

 

Can off-the-shelf video games spark a breakthrough in treating autism? That’s the question researchers are asking as educators quietly discover the therapeutic uses of motion-controlled sensors. The devices are popular with gamers: Microsoft this week said it had sold more than 19 million Kinect motion-sensor units since introducing it in November 2010.

Now autism researchers, teachers and therapists are installing them in classrooms and clinics, reporting promising results for a fraction of the price of typical equipment. Could a teacher armed with a $300 Xbox and a $10 copy of Double Fine Happy Action Theater do as much good as months of intensive therapy?

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Microsoft’s Kinect Being Employed to Help Detect Autism Early

Microsoft’s Kinect Being Employed to Help Detect Autism Early

Kinect might not be the greatest way to play video games, despite its introduction via the Xbox (unless you really, really like dancing), but the technology is still being unraveled as more and more uses are found for the device.

The movement and voice sensing systems of the Kinect have found a great many uses through unofficial “hacks,” which Microsoftactually encourages. From 3D object scan to asurgery aide, new uses for the Kinect are still being discovered.

This one caught my eye however, as a new study is attempting to  use Kinect to detect early signs of autism in children with its motion sensing capabilities. The project is by researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development in Minneapolis.

A nursery was fitted with five Kinect sensors that were set to monitor a group of 3-5 year old children. Each child was tracked by the colors they were wearing, and their movement patterns were fed into a bank of computers that would use an algorithm to recognize if they were being hyperactive or unusually still, which could indicate  possible autism.