Microsoft-sponsored Aura project: like Twitter, but with XBOX avatars

“Aura”, a Microsoft-sponsored project at the Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (of SurfaceScapes fame) is putting an interesting spin on text-driven social networks like Twitter and Facebook to communicate status updates through XBOX Live avatars.

The project which spans across XBOX 360 and Windows Phone 7 leverages users’ personalized 3D avatars to create virtual scenes that reflect their current status through graphics rather than text. For example, in the video there are avatars seen golfing, DJing, dancing, rocking out and riding an airplane (quite literally) with a cityscape background to indicate what they’re doing and where.

Although it’s not entirely clear how it integrates to Twitter and Facebook or the scope of activities, I think this is a neat idea to make status updates more personal and easier at the same time. Considering the XBOX Live integration in Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft’s direct involvement in this project, we could very well see this idea in fruition very soon.

A prototype of the project is said to be demoed at E3 in June.

28 insightful thoughts

  1. I guess i will treat my avatars like my sims: sex and suicide are todays agenda items!

  2. Rofl… So, firstly we had blogs, then twitter and now? Aura, where all you can do is posting 3D avatar? Its next step in minimalism? lol… Hell thank you, but no.

  3. I think some are looking at this from the wrong angle. Instead of comparing it to Twitter. Think emoticons. Like fancy emoticons for sharing your current activities.

    1. Can’t wait to emote to people that I’m doing something goofy while looking like a smug jackass.

  4. The “SYNC with Life” tagline makes me think that this is somehow tied to Live Sync (aka Live Mesh / Live Framework)

    1. everything is tied to the cloud and or ‘syncing with life’ these days at Microsoft and to some degree but not as much so, Google (even though most of their services live in the cloud, they don’t really sync with anything, especially life)…

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