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Kinect Now Offers Hands-free Netflix Support

by Jeff Cork on Apr 14, 2011 at 04:44 AM

One of the most interesting aspects of Kinect that Microsoft showed in the months leading up to the device's launch was the way it could allow users to interact with the Xbox 360's interface. In particular, demos showed Zune Marketplace users navigating through content by waving their hands in the air and controlling playback with voice commands. At the time, Microsoft added that it had plans to integrate similar functionality into the console's Netflix app as well. Well, that time is now.

Microsoft has released an approximately 42 MB update that adds Kinect support to Netflix on the Xbox 360. You'll still have to use your controller to gain complete access to your queue (voice commands only launch a series of recommended selections), but you have complete Kinect control once you're in a streaming video. After launching a movie, you can use voice commands to control playback, or use your hands to skip to specific areas on a timeline.

“By integrating Kinect into the Netflix experience on Xbox LIVE, we’re continuing to transform the way people enjoy their favorite entertainment in the living room,” said Pete Thompson, general manager of Xbox Live. “Since its launch, Netflix has always been one of the most popular services on Xbox LIVE, so we are excited to deliver a brand new way to control this experience in a way that can’t be found anywhere else.”