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Video Conference on Kinect?

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Kinect for Xbox 360 has been heavily marketed since its November 2010 launch as a controller-free, gesture-supported, voice command device to interact with your games and movies in a new way. One little-known feature that is included with your Xbox Live subscription is video conferencing. Bryon Greene shows you more about this feature: how it works and whether it is really useful for your situation.
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Recently, an old high school friend of mine purchased a Kinect for fun and games with his family. Little did he know that I also had purchased a Kinect. Although I bought it for fun and games, I stumbled upon the Video Kinect app as I was perusing the Kinect Dashboard one evening.

The idea of video chatting with a friend or conducting a business meeting through my living room big screen from the comfort of my recliner made me think of popular sci-fi movies where people communicated through their TV video, audio, and microphone features. Fortunately with Kinect the sci-fi video chat depictions in the movies were not far off from the reality of today. Let's take a deeper look.

What Exactly Is This Feature?

Video Kinect is a video chat application made for Xbox Kinect and Xbox Live. Instead of having to huddle around a computer in front of a web cam just to get part of your head into view, with Video Kinect you can stand up; sit at a table, couch, or chair; or be positioned how you prefer by yourself, or with a group of people, and still be within the view of your video chat session window.

On top of that, the audio quality is amazing, even with people positioned 14 feet away from the Kinect sensor. The panning and zooming to fit a group of people on the screen plus the good audio are what make this a viable option as a video conference application.

Even though this is an app for Xbox and Xbox Live, you are not limited to video chatting with your other Xbox Live friends. In fact, you can video chat with anyone in your Messenger contacts list, whether they are on a PC or a Mac. (Yes, I did say Mac.) Since it is developed to work with Messenger, you can initiate the video call from a PC or Mac to an Xbox, and vice versa. However, the easiest way to answer a video call is on the Mac or PC Messenger application, which we will discuss later in this article.

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