Kinect One and Kinect V2

Kinect One and Kinect V2 with SEN pupils.


This page deals with the newer second generation version of the Kinect- Kinect One (Xbox) and Kinect V2 (Windows).
The two models work the same- the above photo is the Kinect for Windows version on the left, Xbox version on the right.

Kinect One for Xbox One.

Looks the same as the Windows version but has the Xbox logo on the right side. You can buy a mains lead now to change it into the same as the Kinect V2- so they are interchangeable.

We've downloaded Disney Fantasia and Kinect Sports Rivals- we have used Disney Fantasia in school but not Sports as it requires constant wifi access and we can't log it onto the system as it has no ip address to put through the firewalls...

Kinect V2 for Windows

This is the new Kinect version that works with your PC and Windows 8/10. You can also buy an adapter lead now with a mains plug and USB attached to make your Xbox Kinect One work on your PC too. The prices of both options are the same.

This time round the Microsoft store is having Kinect enabled programs on it- just like apps- to download and use. As they come out I'll give them a whirl and review them here.

Look at James Winchester's blog for an overview of what the new Kinect can do here.

Warning: Both Kinects need a high spec laptop with a USB3 port (ones with blue plastic 'tongue' in them) and Windows 8- don't buy it if you haven't got these. The kind people at Kinect for Windows also sent one to me free, so thanks to them!


From the Somantics team at Cariad Interactive comes Somability. Three interactive applications that were developed for pupils and adults with PMLD and SLD. Download it from the Windows Store for free.

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The three applications are Reach, Flow and Balance.

Reach is designed to activate falling shapes when the user reaches up- the falling shapes vary according to which shape is touched:
somability reach.png

Flow makes lines appear around movement- either with the camera feed or a blacked out abstract feed:

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Balance has a 'canon' at the side that moves up and down- when you make a noise it fires balls across the screen that bounce off or can be hit at by a user- lots of fun for two people:

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The tracking is excellent and there' plenty of interaction, engagement and communication skills to be developed using these three programs. It's also free (if you have the right equipment) which is always fab. There's also a version for the original Kinect click here for the link. Instructions for Somability can be found here as well.

Kinect Evolution. Microsoft App Store- FREE download.

This is basically a 'show off' app that you download from the Microsoft App Store that shows off what the new KinectV2 can see. You can see my living room, me, my partner and son.

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This in itself is not very useful in school but you can put each of the windows full screen and turn the pupils into block men! Which is quite engaging by itself. It will also track up to five people so great for interaction- make a line, make the same shape, copy actions etc. As lots of our pupils have a poor sense of 'self' relative to the world and others- and also have difficulties with movement and gross motor skills this should be good to try out.

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You can also be stick people.

Kinect Bone Recorder: Windows App Store- FREE

All this does is record you dancing round as a stick person and then saves it as a video. Simples. Here's my first try:

Go me, good for a little play around with I suppose.

Ah Kon Cha: Windows App Store: FREE

This little game from a fab bunch of developers (who made it in a weekend for a competition) is played by making body shapes to fit into holes in the wall- a bit like some of the activities in Pictogram (see original Kinect page).
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When you hit part of the wall with your body the game just restarts! It does get quite tricky but stand far enough away from the KinectV2 and you can sometimes cheat and just put your arms by your side for example- great body awareness problem solving for ASD pupils.


Bought program: Link Here.

Boris is a program from GamelabUK who are part of 2SimpleSoftware. They have developed a KinectV2 game that recognises and teaches simple signing systems- currently Makaton- but for school (like us!) who use Signalong there's another version on the way. The video looks really interesting and our Speech and Language Team will be trialling it from April 2015 with a small group of pupils who are learning to sign. The video shows the first Kinect but it's out for KinectV2. Price is £500.

It looks like a fun way to both initially learn sign and to 'tidy up' pupils signs so that the computer recognises them.

That's it for starters,more to come when there's more out there!

Anthony Rhys
Trinity Fields School
March 2015.