Netflix (finally) has Kinect support

When Kinect was first announced, one of the exciting features that was shown was the ability to control the Xbox without the need for a controller. Streaming ESPN3 through the dashboard, and being able to simply say, "Xbox, pause" to stop the action was a great use of the Kinect technology. Unfortunately when the Kinect shipped, these motion and voice controls were not available for DVD, Netflix, or Hulu video playback.

Today, that changes. According to Microsoft's Major Nelson, an update for the Netflix program will allow users to use their voice and motion to control the action, although it doesn't sound like you will be able to search the database without a controller. Another new feature is the addition of a "recommendation channel," where Netflix will make suggestions on movies and TV shows that you may enjoy. This feature is available on the website but it's nice to see it being integrated into the online experience as well.

While it may not seem like a big deal to reach over and pause a movie using the controller, the issue comes from the fact that the controller powers off after a certain amount of inactivity. When you're halfway through a movie and need to pause it, you have to first wait for the controller to power up before you can take that action. The Kinect voice features will be a welcome addition; hopefully Microsoft will soon add similar functionality to DVD playback.

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