SUNY Oswego team uses Xbox Kinect to research emotion

SUNY Oswego graduate students Randy Belcher and Dan Cutler will demonstrate their emotion-measuring research using Kinect—part of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gaming system—at the college’s Quest symposium Wednesday, April 18.

The human computer interaction students, with adviser Dr. Roger Taylor, plan to show how the Kinect motion-sensing input device can inform research on emotions and movement.

Their presentation will be one of hundreds of exhibitions, talks, events and more at Quest, SUNY Oswego’s signature day to celebrate scholarship and creativity among faculty, staff and students.

Students, faculty collaborating on researchBelcher, a first-year HCI graduate student from Oswego, and Cutler, a second-year student in the program from Schenectady, will show preliminary results of their research with the $150 Kinect device, which potential developers around the world have seized on for far more than games.

“Microsoft really captured lightning in a bottle with this,” said Belcher, as he studied a skeletal 3D avatar on his laptop utilizing Kinect-supplied data on Cutler’s movements.

Experiments to come

Past studies of Taylor’s examined students’ emotional states through a specialized analysis of their facial expressions. Belcher’s and Cutler’s work with Kinect will now allow the researchers to record students’ postures and gestures, affording more accurate measurements of students’ emotional states related to learning.

Belcher, whose 2011 undergraduate degree from SUNY Oswego is in graphic design, sees potential in the arts for their repurposing of Kinect. His application of the Kinect programming also focuses on describing nuanced human movement in the graphic arts.

Cutler, whose 2009 bachelor’s degree from SUNY Oswego is in technology education, sees the potential of the device’s ability to record subtle user movements to study how individuals interact in a given environment.

For more information about Quest, visit

PHOTO CAPTION: Hi-tech tool—SUNY Oswego graduate students Randy Belcher, right, and Dan Cutler, left, team with their adviser, Dr. Roger Taylor, in Mahar Hall’s human computer interaction laboratory to demonstrate their use of a Kinect gaming module to study human gesture, posture and more, prior to a presentation at the college’s annual Quest symposium on Wednesday, April 18.

- 30 -

(Posted: Apr 06, 2012)

Tags: student research, research news: faculty student collaborations, quest, human-computer interaction, computer science