Avatar Kinect revealed, brings gesture to 360 chat

Thursday, 6 January 2011 03:58 GMT By Brenna Hillier

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Microsoft has unveiled Avatar Kinect at its CES 2011 keynote presentation. The social suite uses the peripheral’s motion sensing capabilities to translate the user’s gestures and facial expressions into Avatar animations for multi-user chats.

The new application drops players’ Avatars into a variety of differently-themed environments, where they can engage in “face-to-face” chat through their virtual personas. Seated in a circle, the avatars act out players’ physical movements and expressions.

Somewhat like text-to-animation service Xtranormal, users can record their sessions to create webisodes or vodcasts, which can then be shared on the web.

Existing social services like those packaged with ESPN will be able to utilise the application’s features.

Free to all gold-level Xbox LIVE subscribers, Avatar Kinect launches in Spring.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, introduced the software in his avatar form, showing off the Kinect’s ability to recognise gestures as small as waggling eyebrows.

Further, taped demonstrations showed Kinect Avatar animating hand and arm gestures, and translating facial expressions into emotes. There were no “bam! there it is” moments.

The existence of Avatar Kinect was leaked on Tuesday.

There a video of the Avatar Kinect part of the MS keynote below (thanks, Prof.Dr.Moertel):

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