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Kinected Stories: The Interactive Storybook Series

3

An amazing book for children using a Kinect and the Blender Game Engine.

Julius Tuomisto writes:

Kids love a good story - and actually so do we adults. Kinected Stories is a series of storybooks that mix traditional storytelling with the latest developments in motion tracking and speech recognition technology. Through this unique combination, a Kinected Story allows any child (or playful adult) to literally step in to the role of their favorite storybook character.

When we were first creating the Blender plugin for our Kinect technology based own motion tracking software NI mate, we always believed that the combination of NI mate and the Blender Game Engine would make an excellent prototyping environment for prototyping new motion tracking based games. In order to put this theory to the test, we decided to build our own prototype and proof of concept on these two technologies.

Having started as a piece of paper some nine months ago, we've since went on to create the fully functional prototype featured in the video. We now believe more than ever that we made an excellent choice in using the Blender Game Engine and made significant savings in resources that would have otherwise been spent on learning new API’s and perhaps even purchasing some proprietary game engine.

We will disseminate our findings at this years Blender Conference. Mine and Janne 'jahka' Karhu’s talk (under the banner of our production house and co-op Studio Lumikuu) will be on 'Using NI mate and the Blender Game Engine for prototyping a Kinect gaming concept: Case Kinected Stories'. We will also write comprehensive roundup of the most important lessons that we learned along the way and post it on the NI mate webpages.

What do you think? Is this something new or just another hack? We'd love to hear your thoughts. You can find us on the web and Facebook.

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  • ronin

    Wow!
    That is really cool stuff.
    I've noticed some artists turning their kids books into interactive apps for tablets.This is another awesome option.

  • Brian Lockett

    As a core gamer, I don't like the Kinect much myself. However, I just love this idea. It's wonderful! I loved the interactive there that the cute little girl enjoyed, and it wasn't just a "digital babysitter" for her, but instead encouraged her father to get involved with reading the book back to her which contributed to her interactive experience even more. What a nice way to get small children excited about world of reading. It's like an interactive Reading Rainbow. And I'm glad the idea uses Blender Game Engine and NI Mate. Makes it that much cooler!

    • Brian Lockett

      And I think, as a product for Xbox 360, that this is probably going to be yet another kick to Sony's jewels to yet another expensive project of theirs, the WonderBook, meeting its match. I don't like WonderBook, as I feel it's a most insincere project coming from Sony, built only just to promote their failing PS Move peripheral. You don't even really focus on reading much--it's more just a "video game with stories from books." Meanwhile, this makes use of the 18 million Kinect units found in many families' homes, AND it brings an interest to actual books outside the interactive experience, to sweeten the Kinected Stories experience. I love it.

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