Microsoft has officially announced that they will no longer be manufacturing the Kinect. The company has ceased the production of its motion-sensing depth camera and microphone accessory. In an interview with Co. Design, Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing said that Microsoft will no longer be manufacturing the Kinect, but will continue to support it for customers on Xbox One.
The Kinect’s motion-sensing camera created invisible infrared dots which were mapped in 3D space and allowed tracking of human body movements. It was made to help gamers move from their couch and physically be present in the game. It also supports voice commands, for example, speaking “Xbox On” to turn on the Xbox One console.
“When we introduced Xbox One, we designed it to have the best experience with the Kinect. That was our goal with the Xbox One launch,” says Lapsen. “And like all product launches, you monitor that over time, you learn and adjust.” Kinect’s production may have stopped but the device’s technology, its “core sensor” is still being used in many other areas. The core sensor also powers Microsoft’s augmented reality Hololens, which Kipman co-created.
The Kinect was originally created for the Xbox 360 back in November 2010 and has sold nearly 35 million units since then. The report states that the face recognition technology on the iPhone X has been inspired by the Kinect and the Kinect’s team of specialists went on to build other Microsoft technologies such as Cortana voice assistant, the Windows Hello, and a UI for the future that Microsoft calls Gaze, Gesture, and Voice (GGV).