Software giant Microsoft has released Avatar Kinect for the Xbox 360 gaming console, which is free for Xbox Live users till September.
The technology, which was first unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the CES in January, has been designed to track the facial movements of users and then mimic them on a virtual Avatar on the screen.
Whether it is a big grin or an angry grimace, the Avatar Kinect will be able to mimic the expressions on the screen. Even a cocked eyebrow or a tilted head is not missed by the motion tracking system.
Users will be able to conduct virtual chats with up to eight friends in a single session. They will be able to choose from twenty-four virtual environments to hold their Avatar Kinect conversations.
The service will be available for free to all Xbox Live members until September 8th, after which it will be accessible only to Xbox Live Gold members. Microsoft also said that users will be able to air their Avatar Kinect sessions to friends.
“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,” Microsoft said.
“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,” the company added.