To video gamers, the name Microsoft Kinect is synonymous with the Xbox 360 video game console. To University of Toronto graduate student Uzma Khan, the motion-sensing input device offered a myriad of other possibilities.
- Arts - Jul 22 Gray Center to continue bold collaborations between artists, scholars
- Event - Jul 22 Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17: examining the evidence
- Medicine - Jul 22 £16 million funding announced to create unique medical imaging facility
- Law - Jul 22 Comment: What will MH17’s black boxes reveal?
- Chemistry - Jul 22 The need for speed
- Computer Science - Jul 22 Built for speed: Designing exascale computers
- Social Sciences - Jul 22 Blacks lose homes more today than in '90s
- Social Sciences - Jul 22 Majority of Texas Voters Want Tighter Immigration Laws, UT/Texas Tribune Poll Shows
- Physics - Jul 22 Birthday bash to celebrate laser inventor Charles Townes’ 99th
- - Jul 22 UChicago to test cAlert emergency system on July 24
- Environmental Sciences - Jul 22 North Atlantic right whale's prospects tied to climate
- Medicine - Jul 22 Researchers answer 'provocative question' on breast cancer
- History - Jul 22 Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Sandage Helps "Modern Family’s" Jesse Tyler Ferguson Learn His Family History on "Who Do You Think You Are?"
- Microtechnics - Jul 22 Fly’s Super- Hearing Power Could Aid Humans
- History - Jul 22 ‘Pompeii of the north’ revealed by archaeologists
- Business - Jul 22 Research hub to boost dairy product innovation
Video games at school?
Khan, a master’s degree student in applied computing, used the course Topics in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) to explore the ways Kinect might be used in elementary school classrooms for gesture and speech recognition.
The course focused on user experiences with next-generation input and output technologies. Students read and discussed papers from leading researchers around the world, and had the opportunity to apply their teachings to building their own interactive system using exciting new technologies. Khan decided to use the Microsoft Kinect as new hardware.
Khan enjoyed developing some ways that the Kinect might be used for pedagogical purposes. She explained: “While we discussed various HCI papers in class, I constantly found myself applying the research ideas and techniques specifically to the user group of children… I thought that applications of these techniques could help tremendously in early childhood education.”
Inspired by course readings, Khan developed prototypes in which the user participates in activities by using voice commands and gestures – “pointing to objects on screen and using voice commands to select them.” In her research examples, the voice command could be a simple “this” or “that”, or be a more specific naming activity (e.g., “horse”), based on the activity. (Watch a related video.)
Khan said, “The power of using gesture and speech-based systems in classrooms could not only make an interactive and fun experience, but could also simplify a lot of complex learning.”
Khan tested out her prototypes on her daughters, ages four and seven, and found the use of the Kinect made the activities, such as counting, classification, patterning, and identification, very effective and entertaining for her “usability testers.” She was also able to test her work in her daughter’s Junior Kindergarten classroom.
“As a mother involved in [my daughters’] early years learning development,” Khan noted, “I definitely see the potential use of this technology in education.”
When asked about future plans for research in this area, the graduate student said, “I plan to continue developing more simple prototypes, demonstrating my ideas that can be adapted to classroom education. I also hope to explore this space in the development of assistive and rehabilitative technologies.”
Work with next-generation technologies offers a whole host of life-changing possibilities.
Former Olympian Bruce Kidd, a professor of Kinesiology and Physical Education, is the new interim Warden of Hart House. Join him for some informal conversation.
Last job offers
- Chemistry - 22.7
PhD Scholarship in Chemistry (Synthesis Polymeric Nanomaterials)
- Mathematics - 22.7
BereichsleiterIn Forschungsförderung 80-100%
- Social Sciences - 17.7
Wissensch. Mitarbeiter/in (80 %)
- Mechanical Engineering - 16.7
Senior Wissenschaftlerin / Senior Wissenschaftler Energieforschung
- Business - 15.7
Program Manager Junior with expertise in macroeconomics / financial economics
- Chemistry - 14.7
Polymer Chemistry / Material Scientist
- Business - 22.7
Associate Professor in Accounting
- Business - 22.7
Assistant professor Latin America in the Global Economy
- Physics - 17.7
Stiftungsprofessur Schwerpunkt Photonik
- Arts - 16.7
Universitätsprofessorin / Universitätsprofessor für das Fach Musikalische Gestaltung für Schauspiel (BV...
- Microtechnics - 8.7
- Business - 12.6
Professorship in Economics of Energy Markets
- Mechanical Engineering - 18.7
Assistant / Associate Professor Aeronautical Engineering
- Pedagogy - 18.7
Chair in Employment Relations or HRM. 38029
- Medicine - 22.7
Asst/Assoc / Professor of Pediatrics (Critical Care)
- Medicine - 22.7
Asst/Assoc / Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Neurology)