We've been wondering what Avatar Kinect is. Now we know. It's a way to use Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect sensor to slip us into a Matrix of avatars hanging out together in the virtual world.
They showed it in Vegas today.
Remember, the Kinect is a hands-free system and it's already been able to make avatars of gamers move on the TV in sync with movements of gamers in their living room. This Avatar Kinect tracks more and connects people via their avatars. Hence that Avatar Kinect name, of course!
During the CES 2011 keynote out in Las Vegas, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer showed a short highlight reel that seems to promise the following:
-The Kinect sensor will not just map body movements, but facial expressions, mouth movement and eyebrow-raising
-It will then let our Avatars hang out together in virtual rooms, while we're connected over Xbox Live
-We'll be able to record videos of our connected Avatars and put them on Facebook
-We'll be able to hang out in various "sets"
It's essentially a fancy new kind of chat room with avatars puppeteered by people's gestures via the Kinect. Ballmer said it will be free for all Xbox Live Gold members (translation: paying Xbox Live users) this spring.
Kotaku is on the ground at CES 2011 in Las Vegas, checking out all the show's biggest news about video games, tech and whatever weird stuff we can find. Dig into our full CES 2011 coverage.