Avatar Kinect Is A New Xbox Live Gold Perk And A Fancier Chatroom

We've been wondering what Avatar Kinect is. Now we know. It's a way to use Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect sensor to slip us into a Matrix of avatars hanging out together in the virtual world.

They showed it in Vegas today.

Remember, the Kinect is a hands-free system and it's already been able to make avatars of gamers move on the TV in sync with movements of gamers in their living room. This Avatar Kinect tracks more and connects people via their avatars. Hence that Avatar Kinect name, of course!

During the CES 2011 keynote out in Las Vegas, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer showed a short highlight reel that seems to promise the following:

-The Kinect sensor will not just map body movements, but facial expressions, mouth movement and eyebrow-raising

-It will then let our Avatars hang out together in virtual rooms, while we're connected over Xbox Live

-We'll be able to record videos of our connected Avatars and put them on Facebook

-We'll be able to hang out in various "sets"

It's essentially a fancy new kind of chat room with avatars puppeteered by people's gestures via the Kinect. Ballmer said it will be free for all Xbox Live Gold members (translation: paying Xbox Live users) this spring.


Comments

    So it's PlayStation Home for paying customers? Just what the world has been crying out for.

      Well you never know, microsoft might improve on playstation home by giving you something to actually DO inside it

        No - what they're offering here appears to offer significantly LESS than the already dull PS Home. I guess by not actually doing anything inside it it'll probably mean it at least loads quicker.

        That'd be good - that way you don't spend so long sitting around being bored while you wait for it to load, and you can get straight into being bored by actually using it instead.

    Free for paying customers. ROFL.

    When are they finally going to add something that GAMERS care about? Last I recall was 16:10 support and HDD installations... how many years ago?

      I don't think much kinect stuff is targeted at gamers. This is targeted to the girls in that foxtel on your xbox ad.

      They can watch project runway then jump in to avatar chat with their friends to talk about it wearing the new avatar threads they just picked up.

    they need to implement this kind of thing into the actual UI of the enetire system. Having it as a seperate program to run will just make it completley unused.

    So it's like video chat, but you instead of actually seeing the person you see a very basic representation of them which will attempt to mimic their movements and facial expressions. And no doubt the mimicing will either be extremely basic, or quite sporadic in its accuracy.

    I don't see this working very well. Now make a LBP rip off where you navigate the world as your avatar solely by use of the kinect, and I'll be impressed.

    I use my xbox to play games. Why the fck would anyone bother with this...?!

    Meh, just seems like an extension of the party chat feature. I'd prefer it over video chat, as I won't feel so awkward about sitting there in my underwear :P lol

    Honestly, I'll probably use it once, then never touch it again... just like Home

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