Microsoft Research reveal new Kinect avatar technology

Now that Microsoft has managed to ship close to 10 million Xbox 360 Kinect devices around the world, the research side of the company are working on new ways to really push the device to new levels.

USA Today has been privy to a demonstration of new Kinect based technology that Microsoft Research is working on behind the scenes. The demo shows off new high-polygon 3D modelled faces that can lip-sync words from a script almost perfectly.

In a video displayed on the site, Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said “We could couple the body and the gesture recognition in order to create a full body avatar that has photorealistic features and full face animation”

While some of the technology will be used in the upcoming Avatar Kinect software update later this year, it seems that the company are well on the way to creating a human-like avatar for use on the Xbox 360 or a future Microsoft based console using Xbox 360 Kinect.

According to USA Today, Microsoft’s scientists in the Oxford, England are now working on a new software based 3D technology that will allow users to use the Kinect’s video and depth sensors to create detailed 3D images of homes.

Just this week Microsoft announced that Kinect for Windows SDK would be launched in the spring. Developers will have an official SDK to work from to create homebrew applications and games. Details about the Kinect SDK are still scarce, but with the wide range of available hacks and other interactive programs available, the possibilities for an open Kinect environment are endless.

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