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Spy No More: Microsoft Ends Kinect Manufacture

Microsoft's depth camera with voice-recognition was a heavily marketed device with the potential to get players off the coach and revolutionize console input, but the Kinect's potential isn't limited just to its existence as an Xbox peripheral. Microsoft confirms that manufacture of the Kinect has ceased and it will not return after retailers sell out of stock, but its sensor and influence will live on. R.I.P. Kinect.

In a conversation with Co.Design, Kinect Creator Alex Kipman and GM of Xbox Devices Marketing Matthew Lapsen confirmed the sad news. The Kinect sold just under 35 million since its 2010 debut when it arrived on the scene framed as a Wii competitor. It's $500 million marketing campaign painted it as the next step in gaming, but it was impactful in other ways as well. The Kinect could recognize players when they stepped in the room with 3D mapping and operate via voice commands. Both of these technologies were emulated by other major tech entities, Apple's Siri and Google's Tango for example, and continue to influence various industries today.

Many were lukewarm on the Kinect during the Xbox 360 era, but even one of our writers came around when it was rumored to be removed from the Xbox One. The Kinect sensor will explicitly live on in Microsoft's Hololens, but the creators of the device need only look at front pages of tech retailers to see the Kinect's influence. Everyone is creating their own voice-activated wireless speakers and, after introducing the idea to casual consumers, machine learning is impacting our lives regularly. Say goodbye to the Kinect but, believe us, it's still watching out for us all.

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