CES 2012: Microsoft Uses Kinect with Sesame Street!

Microsoft in its last keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show described its collaboration with Sesame Street to develop interactive episodes for children. Microsoft says it is "two-way television" and uses Kinect as input device to control the action.

The presentation included a live demo in which a girl threw make-believe coconuts at a TV which had Kinect on board. The TV immediately showed coconuts on the screen which Grover (a character in Sesame Street) caught. The coconuts could be thrown higher and the girl had the choice to refuse throwing it. In the latter case, more Sesame Street characters appear and the scenario goes on.

Another feature is Elmo's World which is an interactive world of moving colors and shapes based on users' movements and gestures. The puppets talk to users based on their gestures.

Terry Fitzpatrick, Chief Content and Distribution Officer of the Sesame Workshop told the BBC, "We've had an ongoing dialogue, and when Microsoft decided with the Kinect device that they were focusing on families it was a natural conversation. For a pre-schooler having to deal with a physical controller can be very challenging. Movement is natural to them and getting up and off the couch and active is also something we are very interested in encouraging."

Microsoft is also planning to carry out the same venture with Disney and National Geographic to take interactive learning to the next level. It also announced that Kinect will be coming to Windows PC in February 2012.

This was the last keynote session from Microsoft at the Consumer Electronics Show. It announced that it will be quitting the show from next year. According to a blog entry, Microsoft also plans to end its hosting a booth at the show. The reason given was that the January dates are not feasible with Microsoft's product line.

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