For children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy or hydrocephalus, traditional input models including keyboards, mice, or controllers are impassible barriers when it comes to interacting with a computer.
But with Kinect for Xbox 360, their disabilities no longer factor in, and they’re able to play video games just as normal kids with.
Todd Rosen, an optimized desktop specialist in Microsoft’s New York City office purchased a Kinect for his two disabled kids after hearing about the of the sensor’s natural user interface capabilities.
In no time at all, both Matthew and Sarah were playing games on the Xbox 360. Matthew is 12 and suffers from autism, Sarah, 5, has cerebral palsy. Neither had been able to play games using the old controllers of PlayStation, Xbox or Wii.
“It was the most amazing thing,” Rosen revealed. “I've never seen him smile in front of a video game. He always looked confused or puzzled. But he was playing. The other kids were watching him, not helping him.”
Then it was Sarah’s turn. “All of a sudden Kinect picked her up, and it doesn’t recognize that she’s in a wheelchair but shows her as a shorter person,” he added. “Instantly she’s beyond excited, her hands and arms are flailing, and she’s doing stuff in the game.”
Avri Davis played her first video game at the age of 14. Because she was born with hydrocephalus, the girl had always been forced to watch others instead of joining them. This all changes when her family bought a Kinect for Xbox 360.
“She is a very happy and energetic kid, but as anyone can imagine her disabilities give reason for her to be left out most of the time,” said Katie Davis, Avri’s mom. “It’s so frustrating to see her hang back with the adults and not be a kid. So it was awesome to see her jump and dance and play with the family.”
I can only imagine the joy in the hearts of the kids and their parents when Kinect for Xbox 360 made it possible for them to play video games for the first time in their life.
There’s true NUI beauty in Kinect, and it spans well beyond the luxury of playing without a controller, to making possible life changing experiences.