In what can be described as a significant occurrence, tech giant Microsoft has officially killed Kinect, its depth camera and microphone accessory for gaming device Xbox 360. The irony is Kinect used to be one of the largest selling devices, setting Guinness World Records, just a few years back.
Some hints of Microsoft easing the accessory out were already available when the latest version of the gaming hardware, the Xbox One S and the Xbox One X came without the provision to connect Kinect. Now, the company has said it is stopping the manufacture of Kinect. However, those who have bought the device as a bundle with the Xbox will continue to receive support.
Microsoft has had to take this tough decision based on the feedback from the market. Apart from some loss of reputation due to reports of it becoming popular with hackers, somewhere the cost factor also went against and the sales of Kinect nosedived. The current decision has to be seen in this context.
However, it may not be the end of the road for the technology used in Kinect. There are experts who feel Microsoft gained a lot through the research on Kinect and the related technologies. The HoloLens, the depth-sensing device still uses the technology associated with Kinect and so the Windows Hello cameras fitted on laptops. Even the Windows Mixed Reality headsets are said to be built with parts of Kinect technology.
Interestingly Microsoft’s rival, Apple could be using the Kinect technology more extensively. For one, Apple has acquired Prime Sense, the makers of the original Kinect and the depth sensing cameras being sported by the latest iPhone X uses the face detection technology which is nothing but Kinect in another form.
Microsoft will also use the Kinect technology in its future user interface project it is working on named Gaze, Gesture, and Voice (GGV).