Microsofts Xbox Hitting Classrooms, Offices and Hospitals

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Microsoft announced it plans of investing US$15 million in incorporating video game technologies into US classrooms.

Announced today by Anthony Salcito, vice president of education for Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector, the goal of the investment is to replicate the passion children have towards videogames and incorporate that same zeal in a learning environment, which was mentioned on the company’s official blog.

“Around the world, every day, students are engaged in playing games. These digital exercises provide us insight into their motivations and passions. And yet, our classrooms and content take little advantage of this information. With this new investment, Microsoft will support research and development in understanding and creating learning environments that integrate the characteristics of gaming that kids are passionate about.”

The game over screen is merely motivation for a child to try again, where in the school environment, most children ‘shut down’ once they experience failure.

To aid the generation gap between teachers and students, Microsoft aims to improve the gaming technology skills of more than 150,000 teachers in the US through an initiative they call Partners in Learning Network.

It seems Microsoft has been busy sticking their gaming hands in many cookie jars, also incorporating their hugely successful Kinect technology into the business realm.

 

Although revealed at the Consumer Electronics show in spring 2010, the company has showed off its Avatar Kinect virtual conferencing software which offers a multi-participant conversation over the web. 

Using the Kinect webcam, you assume the form of an avatar instead of being filmed realistically. By converting your recorded movements into a graphical avatar, bandwidth usage becomes much more efficient, making this piece of business software financially attractive.

If the rumours are true, Avatar Kinect could be launched next week.

The Kinect’s success has not only been limited to the business world, with reports of the technology making cost efficient headway in the ever-advancing medical field.

Several engineers, surgeons and researchers believe Xbox motion controller harnesses great potential in the industry, ranging from more efficient surgical prep to a medical educational aid.
 
Read: Healthy Gaming: Xbox Kinect Breaks Into Medical Field

With their gaming technology making a graphical splash in the classroom, business office, and medical world, Microsoft seems to be a Jack of all trades.

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