Only slightly earlier than our previous predictions, Xbox’s Avatar Kinect has finally dropped and is available through Kinect Fun Labs.
In the future, Avatar Kinect will require users to have an Xbox Live Gold plan, but there’s a free trial period for all users until September 8th.
Microsoft previewed Avatar Kinect at CES in January. It creates a virtual hangout or meeting space where you’re represented by your Xbox avatar, which mirrors with surprising accuracy your body’s movements and even facial expressions.
One of the obvious advantages of this form of conferencing is bandwidth. Where video conferencing requires a great deal of video data to be moved back and forth in real-time, the use of avatars cuts that down, making audio the biggest strain.