Kinect Workshop at the Imagine Cup

These are the views that greeted students entering the Sky Lobby of the host hotel of the World wide Imagine Cup this afternoon. We had room for just over 70 people to sit and work the hands on part of the workshop and when we started there was standing room only. OK and someone that could have been me might have sat themselves down on the floor in the back of the room. Eventually the hotel brought in more chairs.

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Stewart Tansley from Microsoft Research,  program manager behind the Microsoft Kinect for Windows SDK beta, kicked things off with an overview of how all this Kinect stuff came about. It really is a bit of “software magic.” Clint Rutkas (@ClintRutkas) from the amazing Coding 4 Fun and Channel 9 team lead the lab part of  the session. I’m always impressed with Clint’s ability to enter code by hand in front of a live audience. He really knows his stuff.

With a group this size people move at all speeds and paces. And of course the fact the English was the second, or third or fourth language for many if a attendees didn’t make things an easier. We had about a half a dozen Microsoft employees acting as lab assistants. The language issue was brought home when I had to help some students running the German language version of Visual Studio. My old high school German really didn’t prepare me with the right vocabulary. Smile

Despite having three hours things had to move very quickly to cover everything. We had some technical problems as well but that is to be expected with that many people and too little time for set up. But over all I think it went well. The Imagine Cup finalists are all getting their own Kinect sensor device so they’ll have plenty of time to experiment when they get home. I hope they got a good taste of what is possible and how things work. They were sure a great audience.

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