Avatar Kinect, the facial recognition technology coming to Kinect for Xbox 360 this spring, started out in the lab and soon will end up in the living room. Avatar Kinect's journey from prototype to product shows how ideas move from research to product at Microsoft.
"Ten million Kinect sensors have sold since its November launch, including 8 million sensors sold in its first 60 days on market -- making it the fastest selling electronics device in history. Kinect sales also have given Xbox a lift -- Xbox for 360 is the top selling console in 2011."
When it rolls out later this spring, "Avatar Kinect will let you hang out and socialize with seven of your friends in a simulated environment," said Umaimah Mendhro, of Microsoft Startup Business Group. "The gathering spots will range from the set of a late-night talk show to a tailgate party to a magical forest."
When your virtual-self arrives at the designated gathering place, you'll -- in real time -- see your friends' smiles (or frowns) projected on the image of them that pops up on your screen.
Once released, Avatar Kinect already will have made a journey across the breath of Microsoft, from prototype to product, from the heart of Microsoft Research laboratories to the hearth of living rooms across the world, Mendhro said.
[Source: Microsoft Press]