KinÊtre Uses Kinect for Windows to Animate in Real-time; Netflix Xbox 360 App for Kids Comes; Fall 2012 Dashboard Update Adds Native 'Play To' to Xbox 360

KinÊtre--a new Kinect for Windows project developed by a team at Microsoft Research Cambridge--makes the process quick and simple enough that anyone can be an animator who brings inanimate objects to life. "KinÊtre uses the skeletal tracking technology in the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) for input, scanning an object as the Kinect […]

KinÊtre--a new Kinect for Windows project developed by a team at Microsoft Research Cambridge--makes the process quick and simple enough that anyone can be an animator who brings inanimate objects to life.

"KinÊtre uses the skeletal tracking technology in the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK) for input, scanning an object as the Kinect sensor is slowly panned around it. The KinÊtre team then applied their expertise in cutting-edge 3-D image processing algorithms to turn the object into a flexible mesh that is manipulated to match user movements tracked by the Kinect sensor," Peter Zatloukal, Kinect for Windows Engineering Manager.

This incredibly cool prototype reinforces the world of possibilities that Kinect for Windows can bring to life and even, perhaps, do a little dance.

You can find more information about the KinÊtre on Microsoft Research site.

Netflix app for Xbox 360, brings an entertainment experience designed exclusively for children 12 and under that makes it easy and fun for families to browse and instantly watch a large selection of kid-friendly TV shows and movies.

Now, "kids and parents can click and instantly watch their favorite characters, including many they'll recognize from their favorite shows and movies. "Just for Kids" consists of titles organized by easy-to-understand genres such as superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs and girl power, featuring clear and simple descriptions of the plot of each title. And with Kinect for Xbox 360, all of your favorite entertainment on Netflix can be found by simply using your voice."

Netflix "Just for Kids" is available today in all markets where Netflix on Xbox LIVE is offered.

You can easily download the app from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace on your console.

Check out this video for a quick tour of the new navigation experience from our friend at Netflix, David Watson, director of product innovation.

Xbox 360 owners had long been complaining about the lack of a simple functionality that allows them to easily play music and videos on their big screen using their console. However, this is set to change in the upcoming Fall 2012 dashboard update -- with Microsoft adding (via) native "Play To" functionality to the Xbox 360 console.

With "Play To," users will finally be able to use any of their Play To compatible device (including many smartphones and tablets, Windows 7 and Windows 8) to stream their music and video to their TV screen via Xbox 360.

XBox 360 Fall 2012 Updates Gets Play To and SmartGlass

Watch the video demo of Play To in action:

Xbox 360 straight for the 19th month, remains the top-selling console in the U.S. According to July 2012 U.S. NPD data:

  • "Xbox 360 sold 203,000 units in July, more units than any gaming hardware, and held 49 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S. This marks the 17th consecutive month that Xbox 360 has held more than a 40 percent share of current-generation console sales in the U.S.
  • Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in July (hardware, software and accessories) reached $218 million; consumers spent more on Xbox 360 products in July than they spent on the other two current-generation consoles combined. (Source: NPD Group, July 2012)
  • During the month of July, Xbox 360 held six of the top 10 U.S. console game titles including: "NCAA Football 13," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" "Call of Duty: Black Ops," "Assassin's Creed: Revelations" and "Batman: Arkham City." (Source: NPD Group, July 2012," informs Microsoft.