Microsoft shows off more Xbox Avatar Kinect action [Video]

By Tom Warren, on 21st Feb 11 9:30 pm with 12 Comments

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, introduced Avatar Kinect using his own Xbox LIVE avatar at CES earlier this year.

Microsoft has started showing off how Avatar Kinect will work and demonstrated some of its features to a select group at the company’s headquarters on Monday. Todd Bishop from TechFlash was at the briefing and has posted a detailed video of what Microsoft revealed. 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.

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. Microsoft’s demonstration shows that 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 technology is likely to appeal to the masses and appears to be a fun and easy way to create a unique movie clip to send to family and friends. Microsoft says Avatar Kinect will be available in the Spring and is free of charge for Xbox LIVE gold customers.

  • Anonymous

    cool! my kids will have fun with this!

  • http://twitter.com/Kierankay1 Kieran Kelly

    Looks quite cool :D

  • Anonymous

    to track mouth and brow movements, will a firmware update be required? my Kinect doesn’t seem sensitive enough. Plus, when you consider the rare problem of recognition issues with really dark skin, you would think seeing eye brows would be very difficult.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6FRXUHPJMEGKQQ765SCBEM2DPQ Brian

      Not sure why yours would be any different than ours. Ours is sensitive enough.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if multiple can use the same kinect camera and appear on the same stage?

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    I don’t like the way the teeth get in the way… make it look really weird,

    • http://twitter.com/Kierankay1 Kieran Kelly

      I think it’s just her avaters smile

  • Starcade

    This looks rather cool. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • GP007

    This could bring in a whole new type of “podcast”, I could see this being used for that instead of the normal video podcast stuff we get now, who knows. At least for a game related show it’d fit well.

  • Manish

    AWESOME

  • darth snoopy

    The really neat thing here is that 8 people could have a conference…for the bandwidth of voice+a small portion of data. With video this would be tough to handle. And with traditional avatar chats..you lose a bit of emotion not seeing facial expressions. this is a neat way to combine the low bandwidth use of a chatroom, with voice, and then dress it up to make it interesting. I hope that the backgrounds are expandable…I’d love to see some premium ones that were themed (Battlestar galactica bridge perhaps)

  • Jay Watts

    when does it come out?”!!!