Putting together an Xbox Live Avatar is, for us, part of the fun and challenge of creating our XBL virtual identities, but Microsoft is working on a solution that bypasses that entire process. With video and sound capturing, the company can make an avatar that looks and sounds just like the gamer it represents.
Microsoft chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie demonstrated the technology to USA Today, and said it would be possible for the avatar to interact just like a human character with real-time inputs from the player:
So, if you're in an online game and chatting with someone, your avatar would move his or her mouth to correspond to everything you're saying. Motion controls would also, of course, be mimicked on-screen in real time. When asked when this technology would be coming to Kinect, Mundie said, "It'll come," but clarified that it's still in the research phase, so it will "be some time" before it shows up in commercial products.
Mundie is also working on the concept of using Kinect to allow the placement of virtual furniture in users' living rooms, allowing them to gauge interior design options. Overall, Microsoft's researchers are working on ways to bring Kinect's technology to "smart home" concepts.
For now, though, you can still go have at it with the mini-games and racing titles currently available for Kinect.
[Source: USA Today]
Feb 25, 2011
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