IBTimes.com: Microsoft Xbox 360 Kinect

Kinect Fun Labs, which is the core for pioneering Kinect Gadgets on the Xbox 360 console, has launched Avatar Kinect and Kinect Sparkler, two new Kinect experiences, this week.

The Avatar Kinect will let the user-made Avatar interact or hang out with up to seven other friends in 24 virtual stages which varying from a late-night talk show set to outer space. Kinect’s camera will track gestures and facial expressions to make the cyber socializing more real.

“Avatar Kinect and Sparkler are fun, creative experiences that allow consumers to get a sneak preview of cutting-edge Kinect technologies today instead of waiting until it’s in full-blown games,” says Eric Lang, general manager for the Microsoft Startup Business Group in Microsoft’s official website.


marketplace.xbox.com: Kinect Avatar

Kinect Sparkler lets players use their fingers to draw glittering lines that will offer spinning gold stars in front of, behind, and around 3D photographs of the players.

“We think these are very interesting and important capabilities for the platform – if you think about gaming, it’s all about making the experience more immersive,” says Umaimah Mendhro, a senior product manager for Microsoft Startup Business Group. “Some of this technology may be realized in games farther in the future, but we worked on these Fun Labs projects to offer a compelling, fun and cool experience that we could deliver today, using the power of Kinect.”

Avatar Kinect makes all kinds of interactive experiences possible that ranges from hosting virtual events and creating the player’s own animated shows to just hanging out virtually with friends.


marketplace.xbox.com: Kinect Sparkler

The service also has incredible potential for bloggers and podcasters to use the gadget as a new platform and, according to Mendhro, is about forgetting the player’s reticence and letting out his animated side.

Players can share their creations from both Avatar Kinect and Sparkler with hand gestures on the Fun Labs Live friends feed. From KinectShare, users can also share their creations on Facebook or download them to their computers, email them to friends, and more.

“I really like this avatar-based interview,” Maria Bartiromo of CNBC’s Closing Bell told Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie. “And maybe I don’t even have to come to work to do it.”

Avatar Kinect is free for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers who have Kinect. However, it will be available to non-Gold-subscribers for 45 days, as per Mendhro. Kinect Sparkler will cost 240 points on Xbox LIVE, Microsoft’s official website reported.

Avatar Kinect:

Kinect Sparkler: