Microsoft is finally admitting Kinect is truly dead. After years of debate over whether Kinect is truly dead or not, the software giant has now stopped manufacturing the accessory. Fast Co Design reports that the depth camera and microphone accessory has sold around 35 million units since its debut in November, 2010. Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 even became the fastest-selling consumer device back in 2011, winning recognition from Guinness World Records at the time.
In the years since its debut on Xbox 360, a community built up around Microsoft’s Kinect. It was popular among hackers looking to create experiences that tracked body movement and sensed depth. Microsoft even tried to bring Kinect even more mainstream with the Xbox One, but the pricing and features failed to live up to expectations. Microsoft was then forced to unbundle Kinect from Xbox One, and produced an unsightly accessory to attach the Kinect to the Xbox One S. After early promise, Kinect picked up a bad name for itself.
It’s easy to dismiss Kinect as a failed project, but the reality is that the research and hardware has helped Microsoft progress its products elsewhere. HoloLens uses many of the Kinect technologies for depth-sensing, and many laptops now ship with Windows Hello cameras that use the learnings of Kinect to recognize people’s faces. Microsoft is even using some Kinect technology in its latest Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
Apple now looks like the unlikely company to bring Kinect-like technology into the mainstream. The iPhone X, which goes on sale next week, will include depth-sensing cameras to log an owner into the device. The top notch of Apple’s iPhone X is essentially a miniature Kinect, and Apple has used its acquisition of PrimeSense (makers of the original Kinect) to shrink the hardware down to a phone.