In many classrooms around the world, groups of students must share one computer—there are simply not enough computers to go around. While the existing solution to this problem is to acquire more computers, this is often difficult for schools with limited resources.
As part of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential commitment to expanding the benefits of technology to underserved communities, Microsoft Research India developed the Microsoft Multipoint platform. Using multiple mice that drive uniquely-designed on-screen cursors, Microsoft Multipoint allows three to 30 students to simultaneously use and learn from educational software on one computer.
Microsoft has now released the MultiPoint SDK 1.1— offering developers a more reliable and updated SDK experience, supporting newer technology platforms like Visual Studio 2008 and including enhanced support for technologies like Flash. The download includes tutorials, whitepapers and videos to help developers navigate the SDK and build applications. (The new SDK can be downloaded at the Unlimited Potential site here, along with videos and more information on what MultiPoint is doing to impact education in the real world.)
Recently, I had a chance to chat with Kentaro Toyama and David Hutchful from Microsoft Research India as well as MultiPoint team developer Vikas Sahdev on the details of the new SDK, the concept behind MultiPoint, and how the solution is being deployed in education today.And student developers participating in this year’s Imagine Cup will want take special note of this new SDK—there’s a dedicated award competition this year (the UP MultiPoint Education Award) for the team that develops the best software solution using MultiPoint, with the winner receiving a trip to Cairo, Egypt to attend the Worldwide Imagine Cup 2009 Finals and an internship opportunity at Microsoft Research’s Technology for Emerging Markets Group in Bangalore, India (where Kentaro and David work).