In a historic move, the technology giant Microsoft announced that it will stop producing the famous Kinect devices. But the Kinect journey doesn’t end there, as Microsoft has decided to allow third-party suppliers to sell Kinect-based alternatives. In short, while Microsoft will no longer manufacture hardware itself, the company aims to extend its legacy through its partners.
- Microsoft has officially ended production of the Kinect, which has played an important role in gaming and beyond.
- Kinect technology is now licensed to third parties who can sell their own replacements.
- Although production has been discontinued, Microsoft will continue to support Azure Kinect customers.
- Microsoft recommends the Orbbec Femto Bolt as an alternative.
- Kinect technology has also found valuable applications outside of gaming, enriching areas such as science and robotics.
The Kinect Story: A technological miracle that transcends games
Kinect was introduced in 2010 as an innovative accessory for Microsoft’s Xbox game console. It promised a fun and enjoyable experience without a console, and became the best-selling consumer electronic device shortly after its release. The latest version in the Kinect lineup was Azure Kinect, which debuted in 2019. Unlike its predecessors, Azure Kinect was not built specifically for gaming, but found innovative uses in enterprise software and artificial intelligence. In doing so, it demonstrated the adaptability and widespread application of Kinect motion sensor technology.
Beyond Kinect: What’s Next?
Even if Kinect hardware goes out of production, Microsoft makes sure its groundbreaking technology survives. The company plans to license the technology to third parties to enhance the innovative capabilities of Kinect capabilities. This is a new business strategy designed to reduce production costs while preserving the Kinect heritage for years to come. Microsoft has also committed to supporting existing Azure Kinect customers with software and to sell these devices through the end of October or until supplies last.
Recommended replacement: Orbbec’s Femto Bolt
To reassure Kinect customers, Microsoft has recommended Orbbec’s Femto Bolt as a promising alternative. Orebica well-known company in the field of 3D sensing technology, has partnered with Microsoft to make the most of Kinect technology and promise an exciting future.
Kinect revival in the alternative industries
And with its wide variety of applications, the Kinect’s journey extends far beyond gaming. Their motion sensing technology has notable applications in science, robotics, and even television. Recently, BBC Sky has integrated this technology into its newly launched Sky Glass TVs to enable motion control and video calling capabilities. This demonstrates the limitless potential of Kinect technology.
The end of Kinect production marks a watershed for Microsoft and provides a surprising and promising future for third-party partnerships. It remains exciting to see how these partners carry on the Kinect legacy. Will Kinect technology continue to evolve and adapt to enrich different areas, or will it gradually fade away? Time will show.