Facial recognition coming soon to a Kinect near you

At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, Microsoft announced a new way in which they are hoping that Kinect will enhance the way we socialize in this electronic world. This new Kinect feature, called Avatar Kinect will offer vast improvements to not only in the way we communicate with others in games, but also improve upon what the Kinect can already do and show off its potential to do bigger and better things. Avatar Kinect utilizes the Kinect’s 3-D mapping capability to track and digitally display your facial expressions. They are looking for a late spring release date for this new feature.

The idea behind it is that you and your friends can join each other via Xbox Live and Kinect to hang out and join in fun conversation. By mapping your facial expressions, you can see a digital copy of other’s reactions in real time. The idea is to be able to meet with friends and family, no matter where they are, and have the feeling of really sitting across the table talking to them. I’m hoping for a “That 70’s Show” type of experience, just with less drugs.

This technology right here is proof that the Kinect’s mapping ability can be improved upon, and will be in the coming future. Being able to more accurately map where your hands and fingers are in space will improve the potential for the under wraps first person shooter coming out of Vancouver for the Kinect. This would also allow for some amazing applications, such as being able to play the piano or a guitar virtually. It would save menu time by allowing you to simply clinch your fist over a certain menu choice rather than standing perfectly still as you wait for it to fully confirm your decision. Improving its overall mapping abilities in general would give a much smoother feel and quicker response time and simply make the games more fun without having to fork over $150 more for a newer and improved device.

This is the first step of hopefully many of making the Kinect a truly revolutionary device.