Avatar Kinect brings your facial expressions to Xbox Live

And it's free for all Xbox Live members until September

Ever wish you could chat to a slightly better looking, cartoon version of your mates? Avatar Kinect is here. Announced by Microsoft at this year's CES, the addition to Kinect Fun Labs gives Xbox Live users over 15 virtual environments to "hang out" in with up to seven avatar friends. 

Kinect will capture your voice as well as smiling, frowning and nodding your head. There's also a few activities to try out, like recording your movements to make animated videos and trying out a comedy routine in front of your friends on the Performance Stage. And yes, Avatar Kinect won't miss the moment that your head ends up in your hands in shame as you scuttle off "stage" after your disturbing Gollum impression.

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