Microsoft announces Avatar Kinect

At the Microsoft Keynote event at CES 2011, Microsoft took the wraps off Avatar Kinect. The platform offers a new way to interact with friends and family using the popular Kinect device which Microsoft also announced has sold over 8 million units during its launch.

Avatar Kinect ups the ability for Kinect. Kinect can now track facial expressions including smiling, frowning, laughing and even eyebrow movement. This increased capability is placed onto the user's avatar and adds the life-like features to the character. Avatar Kinect also creates a new way for users to chat, rather than simple faces on a screen (think Skype), it places the avatar in different settings to allow for more natural interaction. With Kinect also being able to track body movement, the experiences becomes more natural and more appealing.

Avatar Kinect is a new social push for Microsoft's Kinect platform. The increased social presence allows Microsoft to take Kinect to the next level and expands upon the devices functionality. While this will hopefully be the first of many innovations for the Kinect device, it is a step in the right direction and expands the uses for Kinect.

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17 Comments

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I can see how some women in the morning, would rather have their Avatar do the talking than their own face. hehe.

The thing I see as cool about this is that you can have like 10 people talking in the same "room" - with video chat, it would be 10 miniscule heads. This way, there is the potential of being able to better get a feel of a group discussion rather than having to stare at 10 tiny heads in video chat boxes.

Can't wait for the hilarious YouTube videos that arise from this. Assuming it allows avatars to stand up and move around rather than just sit... Clothed avatar humping is not far off now, ROFL.

They have Keynote events at Microsoft? I always knew they knew Powerpoint wasn't as good as Keynote

this reminds me of that paraplegic woman on Neowin who asked if the Wii or something can be used to help her use her computer... maybe this is finally a solution for her?

jasonon said,
is this for people afraid of video chatting?

video chatting is nice, but this is like a step towards the movie surrogates.

ekw said,

video chatting is nice, but this is like a step towards the movie surrogates.

+1

oh and they got the hair wrong xP