Microsoft Announces Avatar Kinect

Up on stage at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011, currently going on in Vegas, Microsoft have announced a new service for the Xbox 360: Avatar Kinect.

Avatar Kinect is effectively an Avatar-based chatroom, with full body support for Kinect. The demo shown during the Microsoft press conference showed Kinect picking up on body and face movements, from jumping up and down in front of your TV, right down to the raising of an eyebrow.

You can choose from fifteen “sets” or environments for your chats to take place in, from deckchairs on a frozen lake, to a TV chatshow, and these chats can be recorded and uploaded straight to Facebook and other sites.

Avatar Kinect will launch “this spring” free to Xbox Live Gold members.  Check out the trailer below.

Source: Video from YouTube


  1. I don’t know how much I would use this, but the technology behind the facial animations looks pretty slick.

    • Agreed. There’s a reason why people relax on the sofa with a telephone handset propped under their chin. They’ve had a hard day at work. Hell, even if it’s the weekend (and people are revitalised from lie-ins) since when does the population fire up webcams on Skype to chat? The percentage is very low. Voice is still fine and the novelty of this will go away (except with children).

      Regardless, it’s good to see them pushing Kinect in an assortment of new ways.

    • assuming it can actually do what they’re showing it doing, can me a cynic but i have trouble believing that video of ballmer’s avatar was live, kinect can’t detect finger movements like that.

      not like this would be the first time ms have used overly rehearsed prerecorded footage for their kinect demos.

  2. The facial animation looks great but this looks more boring than ps home.

  3. Good animation..

    Should be called KinectHOME….

  4. Lol “free to Xbox Live Gold members” don’t you have to pay for that?

  5. I hate it, a lot.

  6. Just like the rest of my impressions of Kinect so far: impressive tech, pointless implementation.


    MS has “no plans” to “do a PlayStation Home,” going so far as to referring to Sony’s social experiment as “a nice chat room I guess, not an awful lot more.”

    Face, and indeed, palm.

    • Exactly, this is just a nice chat room – nothing more. Also in what way is this better than a face to face video chat with your friends? If it requires a camera then I think I’d prefer to actually be able to see who I’m talking to rather than an animated approximation of their facial expression, as impressive as the software is.

  8. I dont see the point, will not be using

  9. So this is Xbox Home?:P Most gamers are more likely to speak to their friend while killing each other than siting down in a small red boat and speaking to each other.

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