Of shadow puppets, clouds and the Kinect

As a child, shadow puppets used to fascinate me, as they probably did a lot of kids. It’s a lovely way of letting the imagination loose – probably why being an amateur nephologist is everyone’s favourite pastime on a sunny, cloud-filled day. (For more serious fans of clouds, consider joining the Cloud Appreciation Society, which I only found about last week).

The Kinect is taking shadow puppetry to a completely new level. Puppet Parade is an installation that premiered at Cinekid Amsterdam  last year. It allows kids to control animated characters on screen – watch the enchanted faces of the kids in this demo:

Puppet Parade – Interactive Kinect Puppets from Design I/O on Vimeo.

There was an interesting Kinect demo during a keynote at CES last week too. Microsoft’s Jaymi Bauer, senior director of product marketing, gave a glimpse into what they’re going to be doing with Sesame Street and the Kinect later this year, along with a young girl.

It’s a whole new world out there for kids these days.

I just hope they don’t forget the charm of the original shadow puppets!

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