Microsoft has finally announced that it has shut down the manufacturing of Kinect. This motion sensing input device with a watershed depth camera and voice recognition microphone made its debut in 2010 to broaden the XBox 360 users. The company sold 35million Kinect units since its launch. Kinect for XBox 360 even made an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the fastest selling consumer device in 2011. Despite all the accolades it received, Kinect couldn’t last long in the market.
Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing shared this news in an exclusive interview with Co.Design. Even before the company actually stopped manufacturing Kinect, there were rumors that Kinect was shut down by Microsoft because of the company’s lack of emphasis on the device. And it’s true because the Xbox team focussed on the traditional gaming to compete with the PS4, rather than making an experimental approach in the gaming world. Microsoft tried to bring Kinect to XBox One, with face recognition login and improved motion tracking but the features and the cost of the device did not make an impact on the customers.
Although the production of Kinect is being seized, Microsoft will continue to support Kinect for the existing customers of Xbox One. But the present developer tools for the device remains unclear. Kinect may not be available in the market to the customers but the core sensor of the stand-alone product lives on. The upcoming Kinect v5 powers Microsoft’s augmented reality Hololens which aren’t present in its predecessor Kinect v4. The Kinect’s team is making it better by building essential Microsoft technologies such as the Windows Hello biometric facial ID system, the Cortana voice assistant, Gesture, and Voice (GGV) and a context-aware user interface for the future that Microsoft dubs Gaze.