Below is the official product fact sheet provided by Microsoft.
WHAT IS KINECT?
Kinect for Xbox 360 brings games and entertainment to life in extraordinary new ways, no controller required. While everyone else puts more gadgets and gizmos into your hands, Kinect removes the last barrier between you and the experiences you love. Best of all, when Kinect arrives this November, it will work with every Xbox 360 console.
Simply step in front of the sensor and Kinect recognizes you and responds to your gestures. See a ball? Kick it. Want to watch a movie? Say “Xbox, play.” Want to join a friend? Whether they are across the room, across the street or across the globe, connecting in a whole new way is as easy as a wave of your hand.
No matter what your age or where you’re from, you already know how to use Kinect. With Kinect for Xbox 360, technology evaporates, letting the natural magic in all of us shine. Kinect responds to your body’s every move, transforming how you play, entertain, and connect with family members and friends.
Entertainment.- Kinect for Xbox 360 works with Xbox LIVE to transform your living room. Xbox LIVE is the exclusive home for a new era of controller-free entertainment allowing you to interact with your favorite movies, music and TV shows with the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice.
Video Kinect.- Share a smile and a wave with faraway friends and family members as you come together from living rooms around the world with Video Kinect, no headset required.
Sports.- New this holiday, ESPN on Xbox 360 takes sports to the next level by combining the leader in sports with the power of Xbox LIVE. The magic of Kinect gets you right in the action and brings the stadium experience into your living room.
Movies, TV and Music.- Control your entertainment with a simple gesture and the sound of your voice.
Social. - The one-of-a-kind Kinect Hub puts all your favorite controller-free experiences in one place. Kinect recognizes you, so you can easily sign in to your profile by stepping in front of the sensor. Access and browse your entertainment with just the wave of your hand.
MAGIC OF KINECT TECHNOLOGY.
Kinect provides a whole new way to play — no controller required. It uses a sensor to track your body movement and recognize your face. If you know how to move your hands, shake your hips or speak, you and your friends will be able to jump instantly into any Kinect experience. Here’s a quick look at how we do it:
Kinect sensor.- Kinect combines an RGB camera, depth sensor and multiarray microphone running proprietary software that brings Kinect experiences to every Xbox 360 console.1 The Kinect sensor tracks full-body movement and individual voices, turning you into the controller for social entertainment available only on Xbox 360.
RGB camera.- Kinect has a video camera that delivers the three basic color components. As part of the Kinect sensor, the RGB camera helps enable facial recognition and more.
Depth sensor. - An infrared projector combined with a monochrome CMOS sensor allows Kinect to see the room in 3-D (as opposed to inferring the room from a 2-D image) under any lighting conditions.
Multiarray microphone.- Kinect has a microphone that will be able to locate voices by sound and extract ambient noise. The multiarray microphone will enable headset-free Xbox LIVE party chat and more.
Microsoft software.- A proprietary software layer makes the magic of Kinect possible. This layer differentiates Kinect from any other technology on the market through its ability to enable human body recognition and extract other visual noise.