Invisible Boundaries Around Physical Play: The Playspace and Kinect

  • 27 Jan 2011
  • 6:30 PM - 8:29 PM
  • Microsoft Main Campus: Building 35/2615- Kalaloch

John Davis presents "Invisible Boundaries Around Physical Play: The Playspace and Kinect"


Kinect for Xbox 360 invites users to interact physically with the Xbox 360 interface and in games. The functional area where the Kinect sensor can see users and track their movements (which is called the "playspace") is invisible. John's team helped users understand the playspace and its boundaries to ensure that users have the most enjoyable experience using the device. To figure out how they could best teach users about physical play in a playspace, John's team conducted dozens of lab and field studies with hundreds of users who interacted with many different versions of the Kinect hardware and software. In this talk, John will describe the important (and funny) lessons they learned along the way.

If this sounds familiar from World Usability Day, it is, but this will be an expanded talk from the talk at World Usability Day.


6:30 - 7 pm Social and light refreshments

7 - 7:15 pm Announcements and updates

7:15 - 8:15 pm Presentation

8:15 - 8:30 Q&A


John P. Davis is currently a User Experience Researcher for the Xbox Design Studio. As a researcher for Xbox, he has help ship diverse hardware and software products, such as the original and ā€œSā€ Xbox 360 consoles, the New Xbox Experience platform software, and most recently, the Kinect device and related platform software. For over a year before Kinect shipped, John was the user experience research lead on the Kinect out of box experience team. Before coming to Xbox, John was a user researcher for Microsoft Game Studios, where he worked on titles like Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Inside Drive, Flight Simulator, Poker Smash and Braid. And even before that, he was a user researcher in the Social Computing Group (SCG) at Microsoft Research, where he explored the impact of technology on social interactions. And even earlier, he was an assistant professor of psychology at Seattle University. John studied abroad in Texas, where he earned his B.S. in psychology from Texas A & M University. He earned his Ph.D. in Experimental Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Washington.

Driving Directions

From 520 going East or West:

  1. Exit on the 40th St Exit and go East on 40th
  2. Continue going straight at 156th Ave
  3. Make the next Right on 159th Ave NE
  4. When you get to the stop sign, building 35 will be on your left
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