Microsoft launches Avatar Kinect for Xbox 360

By Tom Warren, on 25th Jul 11 4:20 pm with 11 Comments

Avatar Kinect

Microsoft made Avatar Kinect available on Monday.

The software giant released Avatar Kinect as part of its Kinect Fun Labs extension to the Kinect hub. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer originally introduced Avatar Kinect using his own Xbox LIVE avatar at CES earlier this year. Avatar Kinect is a unique way for Kinect users to interact with each other. Kinect supports facial tracking and even facial expressions that will allow users to talk to each other with their avatars. Microsoft is calling Avatar Kinect a “social experience” that will bring your avatar to life.

Microsoft launched Kinect Fun Labs in June. The new service is a permanent addition to the Kinect hub. Fun labs allows Kinect owners to download gadgets to play around with Kinect. Microsoft has released several free gadgets and plans to release more in future. The software giant is providing over 15 different stages for users to pick from and use Avatar Kinect. The stages range from kids themed stages to performance and broadcast stages. Avatar Kinect tracks users mouths and eyebrows to animate their avatars live on the screen. Avatar Kinect will allow users to join sessions and chat with each other to create shows that can later be uploaded and shared with others.

The download is available immediately and weighs in at 659MB. The download requires Xbox LIVE Gold. Microsoft also promised that its finger painting 3D light show, Kinect Sparklers, will be made available on Thursday July 28 for 240 Microsoft points.

  • Anonymous

    will definitely check this out after work.  Quick question though, was there ever a public beta for this?

    Also, anyone have the latest eta for next dashboard update with “app” support?

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      There was a private beta but no public beta. Eta for the dashboard is October as far as I know.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Tom!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bad.Trigger Bart Reding

    Is these Kinect Gadget section going to transform into the new app section?
    I mean the app section that is going live with the new Xbox Dashboard.
    Because I really don’t like the Kinect Labs Gadgets app.
    It makes things from easy, so difficult.

  • RedScare360

    Did a quick experiment this afternoon, and this tech has a ton of potential. I’m really impressed with how well it tracked my facial expressions.

  • http://www.awesomeannie.com/ Sean M

    This seems like something that people will try for a few minutes and then never touch again. The lip syncing stuff is cool as a tech demo, but I can’t see a reason for people to use this regularly.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is the humble beginning to a technology
    that will likely expand way beyond what we imagine today. Microsoft is in on
    the ground floor but I suspect others will enter the space before long as well.
    I can’t wait until we can hook up with friends and take a virtual kayak ride
    down the Dordogne, walk the trails between the Cinque Terre towns, ski down
    Olympus Mons, etc. Make it so.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is the humble beginning to a technology
    that will likely expand way beyond what we imagine today. Microsoft is in on
    the ground floor but I suspect others will enter the space before long as well.
    I can’t wait until we can hook up with friends and take a virtual kayak ride
    down the Dordogne, walk the trails between the Cinque Terre towns, ski down
    Olympus Mons, etc. Make it so.

  • Anonymous

    Damn am on silver not Gold dont have money for Gold :(

  • http://twitter.com/jnmknute Joel Knutzen

    any one else having freezing issues after downloading the update?  I have been staring at the blue background screen for 15 mins.

  • Gunny

    Why on earth does it say coming soon on fun labs for me? and it aint letting me download it online…. :(