Massive Kinect update – avatars come to life, art gets physical

26 Jul 2011

Microsoft’s Kinect physical gaming platform is about to grow up via the introduction of new gadgets from Kinect Fun Labs that include a new Avatar Kinect feature that captures facial and physical gestures and Kinect Sparkler which brings new meaning to body art.

From 28 July, Kinect Fun Labs will be available in all Xbox LIVE enabled countries.

Avatar Kinect captures your facial expressions and voice so when you smile, nod or speak, your avatar does the same.

Users can invite up to seven friends to join them in 24 imaginative virtual stages – discuss the latest celebrity gossip or news on the Talk Show Stage, practise comedy or music routines on the Performance Stage, or wager who will win the big game in the Sports Party Stage. debuts

The Kinect sensor can record the session mimicking real TV production. Users can then share their video recording with friends by uploading it to and downloading it to your computer, and from there, posting it to your favourite social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

Avatar Kinect is available for free to all Xbox LIVE Gold members, but to celebrate its release, Avatar Kinect has been unlocked for all Xbox LIVE members (Free or Gold) to enjoy from 25 July until 8 September.

On 28 July, the Kinect innovation continues when Kinect Sparkler launches in Kinect Fun Labs. Kinect Sparkler transforms simple finger painting into an aerial light show, using brand new Kinect tech such as background removal and detailed finger tracking.

Use your body as a stencil and your fingers to paint with light or write with sparklers, turning your room into a canvas. You can draw in 3D, moving the sparklers in front of and behind your foreground image, and then view your creation from multiple angles by moving your head.

Share your masterpiece with friends and family by uploading it to Kinect Sparkler will be available in Kinect Fun Labs for 240 Microsoft Points.



John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years