Do you remember Kinect? The camera and microphone combo that you could plug into an Xbox 360 or Xbox One? The innovative sensor is no longer in production.
Kinect creator Alex Kipman and Xbox Devices Marketing General Manager Matthew Lipsen broke the news to Co.Design today. “When we introduced Xbox One, we designed it to have the best experience with the Kinect. That was our goal with the Xbox One launch,” said Lipsen. “And like all product launches, you monitor that over time, you learn and adjust.”
Kinect began its life as Project Natal to the gaming community who had a tepid response to the multi-sensory accessory. Despite having a bonafide supporter in Harmonix’s Dance Central series, it never did find a game to propel it to Grand Theft Auto level success. Apart from dedicated Kinect titles like Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, it also attempted to supplement standard games like Mass Effect 3, Skyrim, and Dead Rising 3. Originally launching with every Xbox One console, fan response convinced Microsoft to remove the sensor and sell it separately. Since then, developers slowly walked away from developing with Kinect in mind. Outside of gaming, the Kinect sensor became a pivotal tool for anything from research to experimental art.
The technology of Kinect lives on in products that have arrived and on the horizon. From Microsoft’s own Hololens to smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo, and the upcoming iPhone X, the influence of Kinect is widespread.