Kinect To The Future of Television

October 25, 2012    |    By +
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The Gift: “Kinect Sesame Street TV” and “Kinect Nat Geo TV” (available now for around $30)

The Scoop: It’s certainly not a stretch to imagine that the “Kinect Sesame Street TV” and “Kinect Nat Geo TV” titles represent the future of television. For the most part, historically, television has been has been a very passive event. You turn on the TV, you watch TV and that’s been about it. But with these two titles, the television watching experience has now become an active, engaging experience.

“Kinect Sesame Street TV”

Kids who watch Sesame Street will be blown away when the get to actually interact with their favorite characters like Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover. Episodes from Sesame Street’s 42nd season, are re-imagined and updated with interactive content. So at points within each show, a child can use gestures, their voices and their bodies to engage within the story lines. For example, Elmo may ask the child to jump like a frog or Grover can request the child to throw coconuts into a box while counting. Those actions are then simultaneously reflected on the TV screen. The whole episode is not interactive, but there is enough action to literally keep the child off the couch and ready for the next fun interaction.

“Kinect Nat Geo TV”

Geared towards the 10+ crowd, “Kinect Nat Geo TV” is also a television watching / video game playing hybrid experience. With host Casey Anderson, each episode focuses on one animal. Throughout the episode there are breaks from the programming where kids can use their voices, gestures and the bodies to engage within the content of the episode. One example of this game-ifying of TV is when during the “cougar” episode, Casey asks the participant to practice pouncing for prey. The effectiveness of the pouncing gets reflected with a very non-competitive scoring structure. I know a lot of kids (and adults) learn more effectively by “doing”, so there’s little doubt for me, that this type of immersive activity far exceeds the knowledge absorbed from just passively watching TV.

So it’s fairly easy to see how this type of TV experience could really take off. This type of educational content and this notion of television being more engaging and interactive is a big step forward in the evolution of TV. You really get the feeling these two “Kinect for TV” titles are the start of something big.

There are eight 30-minute episodes on each disc. You need an XBOX and Kinect to experience these titles. “Episodes” can be purchased individually for $5 via XBOX Live.

A Great Gift For: These two titles target different ages, but both titles are great for inquisitive kids who love to play while they learn…or learn while they play!

 Video courtesy of XBOXViewTV

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Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

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Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.