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BBC and magneticNorth put kids in charge of orchestra with Maestro

The BBC has collaborated with magneticNorth to create Maestro, an interactive installation that lets children conduct the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at the Manchester International Festival.

Maestro was developed using Microsoft Kinetic technology and lets the audience control the tempo and dynamic of the orchestra using nothing but their hands.

The concept and prototype were first created by the BBC R&D team who then partnered with Manchester-based magneticNorth to develop the user experience, design and technical solution.

BBC Philharmonic Maestro from mN on Vimeo.

"This has been a fun project to work on and has allowed us to continue our experiments into how we can interact with digital content," said Adam Todd, creative director at magneticNorth.

"The Kinect allowed us to create something that children found natural to use, and as the complex technology at the core of Maestro is hidden away it makes the experience is even more magical."

Maestro is magneticNorth's latest project with the BBC following its work to bring Desert Island Discs into the digital age and create a new website for BBC Proms.

As well as its BBC work, magneticNorth has been working with Manchester Metropolitan University to create a new 'Managed Learning Environment' for students.

The MLE is an online resource that aims to provide students with everything they need for their academic lives. It chronicles deadlines, assignments and reading lists as well as upcoming events and resources.

Students can also receive notifications, join groups and contribute to forums all in this one place.

The MLE is being designed and developed by magneticNorth using the open-source application, Moodle, used widely by the education community to create digital learning experiences.

Todd said: "This is the first step towards a new way of engaging with the MMU student community. One that uses data from across the institution in innovative ways to transform the communications experience.”

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