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Interactive Kinect Puppets Turn Kids Into Virtual Puppeteers [Video]

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

Remember the interactive Kinect puppet demo that wowed us all when the first Kinect hacks made waves on the internet last year? No? Then take a look at the video at the bottom of this post. The team behind the design, Theo Watson, Zany Parade and Design I/O, have done the decent thing and two-point zero’d it, turning the prototype into a fully interactive installation, the Puppet Parade (above), and even added real live children—the best test audience you’re going to get.

The digtial puppets are projected onto a wall and the kids become puppeteers by waving their arms around. They can also interact with these larger-than-life beasts directly, by patting their heads and even making food for them to eat. From the project’s Vimeo page:

This dual interactive setup allows children to perform alongside the puppets, blurring the line between the ‘audience’ and the puppeteers, and creating an endlessly playful dialogue between the children in the space and the children puppeteering the creatures.

The installation—made with openFrameworks and the ofxKinect addon using two Xbox Kinects to track the kids’ arms—premiered last year at Cinekid festival in Amsterdam.


Unedited footage featuring the sounds the puppets make.


The original prototype and inspiration for Puppet Parade.

Photos: I/O Design