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Avatar Kinect

Avatar Kinect, the Xbox 360 app that captures your facial expressions and maps them right onto your avatar, is now available as the newest gadget in Kinect Fun Labs. You can invite friends into a session, and communicate using your avatars in one of 24 different virtual stages. Things like a performance stage, talk show, and even a tailgate party. The sessions are recorded so that you can upload them to KinectShare.com, where you can download them and send them to the Twitters, Facebooks, and YouTubes of the world. You need an Xbox LIVE Gold membership to use Avatar Kinect, but Microsoft is opening it up to all members from now through September 8th.

On July 28th, Kinect Sparkler will appear in Kinect Fun Labs as well, showcasing the Kinect's new ability to do finger tracking. You use your body as a stencil and paintbrush, creating works of art in 3D, and uploading them to KinectShare.com. This one will cost 240 Microsoft Points.

Gallery: Avatar Kinect now available, Kinect Sparkler arrives this Thursday


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VellVett performing at the 2014 Gear Live Holiday Bash

What you see here is an R2-D2 inspired Xbox 360, along with a C-3PO Xbox 360 controller, and you'll find these as part of the Star Wars Kinect bundle that was revealed by Microsoft at Comic-Con. Also included in the bundle is a white Kinect sensor, Star Wars Kinect, and Kinect Adventures. The console also includes a 320 GB hard drive, which is a first for the Xbox 360 line. The console itself has custom R2-D2 sounds rather than the standard Xbox 360 chimes. You can pre-order these now, and they'll be shipping in the fall for $449.

Read More | Star Wars Kinect Bundle

Gallery: Star Wars Kinect bundle features R2-D2 Xbox 360, C-3PO controller, 320 GB hard drive


Nyko Zoom

One of the biggest complaints with the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 is its space requirement. For the depth-sensing cameras to function properly, Microsoft recommends a good eight feet between the Kinect sensor and your body. That's a lot of space, especially for all the apartment and dorm room dwellers out there.

Nyko might have fixed that problem with the Zoom, a surprisingly simple and affordable Kinect attachment that seriously cuts down on its need for room.

The Zoom is a wide-angle lens attachment that fits over the Kinect, changing how it sees the room. With a wider angle, it can see more laterally, but doesn't have as much depth. According to Nyko, this means the Kinect needs up to 40 percent less space than without the Zoom. Because it's just a set of lenses that fit over those on the Kinect, it doesn't need any power or complex installation; it just slides on.

The Nyko Zoom will retail for $29.99 when it ships later this year.

Click to continue reading Nyko Zoom lets you stand closer to Kinect

Gallery: Nyko Zoom lets you stand closer to Kinect


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