Today's inspirational project (with download coming soon) is a great example of how the Kinect continues to help drive innovation in learning.

Kin-Educate: An educational game for the Kinect

Kin-educate is part of a research project exploring innovative ways to interact with computers, and what better tool to use than the Kinect? But, what kind of Kinect application to interact with? Well, since its release the Kinect very quickly became synonymous with education. Developers could see the potential, as could educators. So this seemed like the perfect place to start experimenting with the Kinect – by developing a fun, innovative educational game. The result is Kin-educate.


Kin-educate features two mini games. One, a spelling game, randomly chooses a word, shuffles the letters and then gives the player 30 seconds to grab, drag, and drop the letters, in order, to complete the word.

The maths game focuses on mental arithmetic. Randomized sums are generated and the player has to shout out the answer. A high score gets you your photo taken using the kinectColorViewer to capture an image of the player and display it.


The game is being tested at the moment and once any creases are ironed out I will make the project and source files available to all.

In the meantime you can see watch some videos on YouTube:

Kin-educate Spelling:

Kin-educate Maths:


· Two handed control:

o Instead of using the coding4Fun hoverButton control on the buttons and having the timer ring appear on them, I wanted the timer ring to appear on the hand. I did this by using the hoverButton function on the hand symbol to trigger the events on the selected button.

o So when you hover over a letter in the spelling game (which is a button) the hoverButton triggers the letter buttons methods – in this case using the Kinect colorImagePoint to map the letter to the active hands location then I quickly switch the hand image to a closed fist to make it look like it is holding something.


o At any one time only one hand is actually active. This is controlled by gestures – as simple as; if the right hand is higher than the left then apply the hoverButton control to this hand. This helped get around any left or right handed problems, and also makes it much easier to play the spelling game.

· Speech recognition:

o Speech recognition is embedded within the entire application. It is all part of making it an engaging and interactive way of learning. So why put your arms at a weird angles or press a button on a keyboard to stop a game when you could simply say “Stop”? When you’re ready just say “Continue” or if you’ve had enough just say “Quit”.


o The speech recognition for the maths game was one of the most challenging aspects of developing Kin-Educate. Accounting for accents, poor annunciation, background noise, and then the number of variables involved in randomized sums (the number of potential answers) was pretty tricky. I managed to get around this by limiting the potential answers of the randomized sums to between 0 and 10, and then, once the word is recognized I compared this to the actual answer with a few checks. It still has some trouble with accents but within a couple of tries most people get the hang of it.

Kin-educate is still under development and will be an ever-evolving project. Different games can be added over time utilizing even more of the great Kinect capabilities and any suggestions are welcome. The next development is already in design. Any feedback is always appreciated, and keep an eye out for when the project will be available to download - soon!

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