2011 Chevrolet Volt

2011 Chevrolet Volt

We’ve heard a lot about the upcoming 2011 Chevrolet Volt, read up on all the specs, even seen a few videos of prototypes doing the rounds at GM proving grounds around Michigan, but sadly, for the great majority of Americans, getting a feel for what the Volt is really like to drive is still months away.

That is not entirely true, however. Thanks to Microsoft, customers will soon have a new way of getting information, as well as an overall feel for the Chevrolet Volt via the software giant’s latest Kinect for Xbox 360.

For those readers still stuck in the days of the Atari, Kinect for Xbox 360 is a controller-free gaming experience that essentially allows users to control and interact with the Xbox 360 game console without the need to touch a game controller. Users basically direct hand gestures, spoken commands or presented objects and images towards a video sensor that plugs into the Xbox 360; these gestures are then converted into commands for whatever software is being run.

Chevrolet will be among the first companies to leverage the new technology when Kinect for Xbox 360 launches this fall. Users will be able to learn about the production Volt through an interactive video advertisement on Xbox LIVE or on the web, and test drive a virtual Volt using the Kinect Joy Ride software, Microsoft’s first controller-free racing game.

Technology such as Kinect will allow new car buyers to visually immerse themselves in the vehicle. If a buyer likes what they see, they can then search for a local dealer and schedule a “real world” test drive.

And those readers who don’t own an Xbox 360 shouldn’t feel left out as Kinect kiosks could also be used at promotional events like festivals, enabling a much wider audience to get familiarized with the upcoming Chevrolet Volt range-extended vehicle.