‘Sesame Street’ goes interactive this fall with help from Microsoft

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Here’s an update on the partnership announced last October between Sesame Workshop and Microsoft to use Xbox 360 consoles fitted with Kinect motion-sensor technology to create interactive educational experiences for kids, including Sesame Street.

Soho Studios, a new Microsoft unit in London, is working on Kinect Sesame Street TV, due out this autumn, reports C21 Media, a site focusing on cutting-edge content. “With Sesame Street from 1969 onwards, the characters have looked out of the TV and asked the kids a question and assumed they were answering,” said Soho Studios’ Senior Design Director Josh Atkins. “What we’ve done is allowed kids to answer.”

He tells C21 Media about a game called “The Letter Tree,” in which Cookie Monster is hungry for his next meal. Everything that grows on the tree starts with a particular letter; if kids watching jump up and down, the goodies fall and Cookie Monster gets his reward. “The characters on the screen actually know what the child has done, they respond to the child’s actions,” Atkins said. “Kids at one point believed they were talking to the TV but the TV would only kind of respond. Now the TV responds.”