First shown back at E3, both Kinect Sparkler and Avatar Kinect are set to continue expanding the Kinect Fun Labs series of applications.
Besides being a simple application that allows you to draw with your fingers in three dimensions over pictures of you, Kinect Sparkler has the distinction of being the first paid gadget for Fun Labs, at a cost of 240MSP. In addition, Avatar Kinect is an interesting piece of software that recognizes the user’s face features like eyebrows and mouth and translate those movements into your Avatar, as well as being able to send video messages, arrange meet-ups with other Avatars and record video content. Avatar Kinect doesn’t have a cost per se, but in order to use it, you’ll have to be an Xbox Live Gold Member; the gadget will be free for everybody until September 8th, though.
However, why isn’t Kinect Sparkler free as well? In Microsoft’s words, “Kinect Fun Labs Gadgets are designed as fun applications that showcase the latest Kinect technology, provide significant replayability, facilitate creation and sharing of content, and let you enjoy Kinect in entirely new ways. We were delighted to have a sponsor for the first four Gadgets available at launch, which allowed us to provide them free of charge to all Xbox LIVE members. Avatar Kinect, which launched this week, will require an Xbox LIVE Gold membership, but will be available to all Xbox LIVE members for free for the first 45 days. Stay tuned for pricing on future Gadgets.”
So there you have it, both gadgets are available now, and they seem to be fine distractions for as little $3 and/or a Gold membership, which certainly doesn’t seem like much.