Leaked Microsoft CES slide touts 'Avatar Kinect'

Purported image from Microsoft's upcoming CES keynote speech suggests company is planning to introduce an avatar-focused feature that makes use of its popular Kinect accessory.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
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A purported slide from Microsoft's 2011 CES keynote, showing off a new feature that makes use of the Kinect accessory. Glimpse Dog

A purportedly leaked slide of Microsoft's 2011 CES keynote speech, snapped by blog Glimpse Dog, shows off an upcoming Xbox 360 feature the company is dubbing "Avatar Kinect."

According to Winrumors, the feature will come as part of a system software update, and will make use of the Kinect camera accessory to map user body movements to their Xbox Live avatar. It's also said to bring the mapping feature to games, and other avatar-enabled areas of the Xbox dashboard and its applications.

Avatars, which came long before Kinect, offer users a way to create a virtual character that's attached to their gamertag and user account. Microsoft also offers a built-in digital storefront to sell digital clothing and toys through piecemeal microtransactions.

As part of last November's Xbox 360 dashboard update, Microsoft gave its avatar program a visual refresh, to more correctly proportion them for skeletal tracking with Kinect. This new program then could very well be the next step toward making that functionality more apparent to end users.