Avatar Kinect: How Cool is that?

A few weeks ago, the people over at Microsoft emailed me with a question: would I like to try out some new technology. Ummmm. Yes.  They weren’t really asking me, but me as one of the co-hosts of the Blogging Angels, a weekly podcast about social media and tech for women.  And over on that site,  you can take a look at the very first podcast every recorded using Avatar Kinect.

So what is Avatar Kinect?  It’s the latest technology from Microsoft that takes video game Avatars to the next level – you’re not just moving your body – but your face– even your eyebrows.  And, of course, your voice.  You ARE the avatar.  And Kinect lets you invite up to seven other people into your space to have a conversation – in real time, record it, and share it however you like.  And the spaces are fun: a beach, the space scene I’ve used, a concert stage, a punk-rock type set, a snow scene, a talk show set – or a plain background onto which you can, in post editing, add your own background.  I can’t wait to see what people more creative than I will do with this thing.

It’s not perfect – the sync of the mouth and voice is best when you speak slowly and when the lighting is just so.  But it does give you an idea of what’s to come – the ability to traverse space and connect (kinect?) with people not just to play games, but to really connect.  With good old fashioned conversations.  Take that, all you people who claim that virtual technology and social networks are sapping us of our ability to socialize.

One other thing to note: if you already have an Xbox Kinect, you don’t need any new hardware.  If you have an Xbox Live gold account, you can use the service. That’s nice too, huh.

So check it out.  Because, seriously, how cool is that?

Other than early access to Avatar Kinect, and a loaner system for review (great, now I have to buy my own – it’s just that cool)  I received no compensation for this post.

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