Microsoft announced the release of Avatar Kinect, a new Xbox LIVE feature that uses the Kinect’s face-recognition capabilities to project the user’s face and expressions into the virtual world.
The Avatar Kinect (not to be confused with James Cameron’s motion picture Avatar), enables users to interact with up to seven friends on a number of virtual environments, which include an outer space level to a sports tailgate party. The Kinect’s motion sensor tracks facial movements and converts it digitally, so if the user raises his eyebrows, his avatar will do just that.
The service is a free, 658.59 MB download that you can get from Xbox.com. Avatar Kinect will require an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, but Microsoft is now offering it for free until September 8 to celebrate its launch.
Avatar Kinect is part of Kinect Fun Labs, which is a collection of services for doing a number of silly things using the Kinect motion sensor.
“The Kinect sensor can record your session with a producer’s editorial eye, following your performance, zooming and panning, just like a real TV production. Share your video recording with friends by uploading it to KinectShare.com and downloading it to your computer, and from there, posting it to your favorite social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.”