Microsoft has recently made a significant announcement regarding its Kinect hardware. The tech giant has stated that it will no longer produce any Kinect hardware, opting instead to provide the technology to third-party partners who can market their own alternatives.
For years, the name Kinect has been synonymous with its use as a peripheral for Xbox consoles. However, Microsoft has expanded the Kinect brand by developing various motion-sensing devices. One of these is the Azure Kinect, which was released in 2019. Unlike its predecessors, the Azure Kinect was designed for enterprise software and AI use, boasting more advanced features.
According to Microsoft, the decision to cease production of Kinect hardware was driven by a desire to best support the needs of customers and partners. Currently, several partners have incorporated Kinect technology into their own devices. As an alternative to the Azure Kinect, Microsoft has recommended the Femto Bolt by Orbbec.
It is important to note that customers who already own an Azure Kinect will still be able to download and use the development software. However, Microsoft will continue selling devices only until the end of October or until supplies last, so interested buyers will need to act fast.
The Kinect has proven to be a versatile technology with applications outside of the gaming industry. It has found use in fields such as academia and robotics, demonstrating its potential as a tool for research and innovation.
One notable example of Kinect’s influence beyond gaming is the recent launch of Sky Glass TVs by UK broadcaster Sky. These TVs come equipped with integrated Kinect technology, enhancing the viewing experience for consumers.
In an interview, Microsoft expressed that Kinect was always intended to be more than just a gaming peripheral. With this latest decision to focus on supporting third-party partners, it appears that Microsoft is pushing for Kinect’s expansion into various sectors, cementing its status as a multifaceted technology.
As the production of Kinect hardware comes to an end, it will be interesting to see how third-party partners utilize this technology and what innovative products they bring to the market. Microsoft’s decision undoubtedly marks a pivotal moment in the journey of Kinect, proving that its capabilities extend far beyond gaming.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Devoted music geek. Troublemaker. Typical analyst. Alcohol practitioner. Food junkie. Passionate tv fan. Web expert.”