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While some may be questioning the new name for the codenamed Project Natal, one thing you can’t question is the functionality. As many people already know, if you invent something that lets people execute a task in a quickier, easier way, you are onto something. Voice recognition in Microsoft’s Kinect aims to do just that.

No need to get up, no need to pick up that remote, just speak up. Microsoft Kinect will provide voice recognition commands which will allow easy interaction of Xbox 360′s user interface. “If you see it, just say it.”As demonstrated at the Microsoft press conference, Microsoft Kinect can first be activated by waving at the camera. From there it will recognize who you are and what avatar you are associated with. Once logged in, simply tell Xbox what you would like to do. For example, ”Zune”.

From what was shown, voice commands seem to be simple, one word commands. For example, once Zune has been launched, navigation to the movie you would like to play needs to be done with hand waving motions which assist in navigating the UI to the movie you would like to play. Once a movie is playing, simple commands such as “Xbox, play”, “Xbox, pause”, “Xbox, stop”, etc are available. Obviously enough, ”Xbox” seems to be the keyword which is an absolute necessity as without it, conversations around the Xbox could set off commands you didn’t wish to execute.

While this follows the formula of laziness sells, it still has a gimicky feel that will most likely not be the key reason people purchase the device. However, with the new Video Kinect, keeping in contact with family members and friends may. Just launch Video Kinect, and video chat with friends on Microsoft video chat applications on the Xbox 360 or PC. Additional functionality is also provided as just with Netflix, you can now watch movies together. However, the specifics behind DRM with this feature is still unclear.

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