Microsoft stops manufacturing its Kinect sensors


Microsoft has stopped making Kinect sensors seven years after releasing its first model in 2010.

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Microsoft officials confirmed to Fast Co Design on October 25 that manufacturing of Kinect has officially shut down. Microsoft officials said they’ve sold about 35 million units of the device. Microsoft will continue to support those who’ve purchased the device but the Kinect software development kit will likely no longer be refreshed, officials said.

Microsoft hasn’t been actively marketing the Kinect sensor for Xbox for a while now. In 2015, the company ceased making its Kinect for Windows sensors, which Microsoft introduced back in 2012.

Microsoft officials say the core sensor in the Kinect will live on in side the HoloLens. Microsoft decided last year to drop a planned 2017 refresh to its HoloLens goggles, and instead emphasized the company’s Mixed Reality software and third-party mixed (virtual) reality headsets.

Microsoft is working on a next-generation HoloLens device, however, and has been touting the “AI” coprocessor inside of it. Microsoft officials haven’t said when the next HoloLens will debut but it could be late 2018 or even 2019, sources have said.

The Kinect, in spite of the number of units sold, never really caught on with game developers. Some line-of-business applications using Kinect are still in use, including in healthcare. But the sensor never caught on in a major way in the commercial space, either.

Microsoft revealed the end of Kinect manufacturing just ahead of its launch of its Xbox One X gaming console on November 7, and a day before the company reports its Q1 FY 2018 earnings.



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