News

Microsoft Ends Kinect Camera Products

Microsoft is no longer manufacturing Kinect cameras, according to a press account today, citing Microsoft officials.

Kinect cameras were originally Xbox 360 gaming console accessory devices, but they were later added directly into Xbox One consoles. The cameras, though, apparently just added an extra cost in a competitive console world, according to this Fastcodesign.com article's description.

The end of Kinect camera as a Microsoft product was confirmed in that article, citing talks with Kinect's creator, Alex Kipman, a Technical Fellow at Microsoft, as well as Matthew Lapsen, general manager for Xbox marketing.

Kinect was first launched as product in 2010, but Microsoft may have since moved on with its HoloLens devices. The HoloLens line has gradually expanded what gets included in the user's field of view. The progression went from "virtual reality" to "augmented reality" (which includes the room environment) to the current "mixed reality" phase. Microsoft describes mixed reality as the "blending of the physical world with the digital world," according to this developer document. Mixed reality also includes the use of environmental inputs, including sound and location.

Microsoft described its Windows 10 "fall creators update" as being "the first spatial operating system" that will light up "mixed reality" experiences using HoloLens headsets. New mixed reality headset designs will be coming this holiday season from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung, according to an earlier Microsoft announcement this month.

Kipman described the evolution of HoloLens as making machines capable of better interactions within the human world. In addition, Microsoft has been working to expand what the HoloLens devices can track. The idea is to go beyond tracking human gestures to tracking the space around people, and letting people drag holograms into that space, according to the article.

The Kinect sensor is still being developed, despite Microsoft's discontinuation of the Kinect camera product. Version 5 of the Kinect sensor will be arriving, but it's destined for inclusion in the "augmented reality HoloLens," according to the article.

The article did not mention what will happen next for the Kinect developer community, and whether a software development kit will still be available. Kinect cameras had been used in various commercial and research devices, as well as Microsoft's Xbox gaming console.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

Featured

  • Gears

    Top 10 Microsoft Tips and Analyses of 2018

    Here are the year's most popular explainers and how-to columns -- along with some plain, old "Why did Microsoft do that?" musings thrown in.

  • Sign

    2018 Microsoft Predictions Revisited

    From guessing the fate of Windows 10 S to predicting Microsoft's next big move with Linux, Brien's predictions from a year ago were on the mark more than they weren't.

  • Microsoft Recaps Delivery Optimization Bandwidth Controls for Organizations

    Microsoft expects organizations using its Delivery Optimization peer-to-peer update scheme will optimally see 60 percent to 70 percent improvements in terms of network bandwidth use.

  • Getting a Handle on Hyper-V Virtual NICs

    Hyper-V usually makes it easy to configure virtual network adapters within VMs. That is, until you need to create a VM containing multiple virtual NICs.

comments powered by Disqus
Most   Popular

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.