updated 12:40 am EST, Thu January 6, 2011
Microsoft adds Kinect to Hulu, Netflix, avatars
Microsoft during its CES keynote promised a handful of features for the Xbox 360's Kinect controller. A Dashboard update will give users hands-free control of not just the existing Netflix but the long-promised Hulu Plus. Like with the Zune Video Marketplace, users can point a cursor with their hands and rely on voice commands for playback.
Also on show was Avatar Kinect. The technique maps the entire body's actions to those of their Xbox Live avatar and is now precise enough to track facial expressions, even including the eyebrows. Avatar Kinect itself lets users gather together for a multi-user chat that lets everyone participate sit in the same virtual room and talk with the same hand gestures and expressions they would use in person. Several different scenes are available to help set the tone.
All of the updates are coming in the spring and suggest a major Dashboard update at the same time.