Since the release of Kinect, we’ve seen a variety of mods and tweaks of the hardware in an effort to use its great detection functionalities for all sorts of weird and wonderful things. However, Faceshift may just be the most progressive one yet.

The creator’s of the utility have refined the device’s motion capture abilities to intake detailed 3D data, which can be then analysed and portrayed in the animations of an avatar in real-time. Head movement, facial expressions and eye direction can all be mirrored virtually by the software with minimal delay.

The whole development looks very promising for the future of games and the interactions that occur within. More intimate exchanges could take place online. More accurate face recognition for NPCs could assist in creating more immersive gameplay, and we could even see more games focused on studying characters and how they react to situations; an area where L.A. Noire has set the bar.

An SDK, named Faceshift Studio, has also been released to be used by professional animators and artists in game development and television production.

The video below goes into a little more detail.