Xbox Kinect does more than allow games to be controlled by your body. Through the use of the camera and microphone, it lets you "play," "pause," or "stop" using gestures and your voice.


For turning the human body into a game controller

Microsoft wowed with several creations over the past year--a better Bing, the Windows Phone 7 OS--but we're most impressed by what it destroyed: the old-fashioned remote control. Its revolutionary hands-free Kinect for the Xbox 360 console, which launched in November, uses an assortment of sensors to understand voice commands and read facial cues and physical gestures (a punch or a kick, for instance). It then responds accordingly on-screen (with, say, a video-game knockout). To date, Microsoft has sold at least 8 million Kinect consoles--more than enough to kick-start the Xbox's transformation into a full-fledged entertainment platform. Among the forthcoming features: content from Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as avatars-only virtual worlds for Microsoft's 30 million Xbox Live subscribers.

Image: Microsoft

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