How Multiple Generations Can Connect at Home
Using Xbox One’s Kinect
The learning curve of new technology has a reputation for widening the generation gap. However, some new tech toys, like Microsoft’s Xbox One with Kinect, are bucking that convention. All generations can use the Xbox One with Kinect, because it gives them some easier ways to be entertained and brings everyone together for family fun.
What Kinect Does
The Kinect sensor can be used to control the Xbox One using uniform physical gestures and voice commands. With the default instant-on power mode enabled, the console can be turned on by simply saying, “Xbox, on.” Voice commands offer a break from the traditional keyboard and mouse navigation tools personal computers often require. Those suffering from arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or other wrist pain can take advantage of the voice commands as part of a conscientious lifestyle adjustment.
Exergaming on Xbox One
Exercise through video games, or exergaming, can be a great way for seniors to stay active. If you’re looking for a game the kids and your parents can all play, it doesn’t get much simpler than games like Just Dance 2015 or Dance Central Spotlight. Kinect Sports Rivals is also easy to pick up with a suite of familiar motion-control games including bowling, tennis, climbing and soccer. You play these games by actually moving around, and the “Real Vision” Kinect technology scans your body’s image to bring it into the game for an immersive, active experience.
For a more concentrated exercise experience, Zumba Fitness: World Party includes pre-set routines of low, medium and high intensity options. Workouts and fitness goals can be completely customized, and, with numerous locales available, players can feel like they are working out somewhere exotic even though they haven’t left the living room.
While exergaming can be great at home, it doesn’t have to be limited to the living room. Some senior centers like the St. Barnabas Senior Center in Los Angeles are putting Kinect games in their wellness centers to give seniors an opportunity to be active and socialize.
Entertaining Without the Games
Microsoft calls the Xbox One with Kinect an all-in-one entertainment system for a good reason. The console boasts features that facilitate watching movies or TV, listening to music and using system-optimized apps. Popular streaming services like Amazon Instant Access, Netflix and Hulu Plus have been optimized for the console, which makes it possible to stream videos using the Kinect’s voice recognition and gesture control features.
Furthermore, seniors looking for a bigger screen to view and surf the web can use the Internet Explorer app to access the Internet on your television screen. Voice commands like “Browse to” and “Click on” can be used for navigation in lieu of a controller or remote. Another app seniors may find useful on a bigger screen is Skype for Xbox One. Video calls can be made in the living room while sitting on the couch without the need to hold up a camera or device. Anyone on the Skype favorites list can be dialed instantly just by saying, “Xbox, call” followed by the person’s name.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make life easier and have the biggest impact on the people you care for. Whether it’s for your parents or your kids, the whole family is sure to connect over the various features.
When Generations Live Apart
Last week’s article on Caring for Elderly Parents From Afar and featured the Apple iPad, but the Xbox One can also be used for Skype video calls and other Internet apps. It’s just not as easy for a senior living alone to use. But maybe your senior lives in an assisted living facility with Xbox, or they have an iPad and you have Kinect. You can still connect online.