Kinect has effectively been dead in the water since Microsoft stopped bundling it with every Xbox One, but now the product is officially dead, with the Alex Kipman, creator of the Kinect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing confirming that production had ceased in an interview with Co.Design.
The peripheral was already on the way out, as the Xbox One’s evolving software gradually siphoned off the processing power reserved for Kinect and handed it over to developers, before last year’s Xbox One S shipped without the dedicated Kinect port on the back of the device. At the time, you could get a free adapter to let you keep using Kinect via USB, but as the Xbox One X is about to be released, the offer is no longer part of Microsoft’s plans.
The great irony of all of this is that the same kinds of biometric data and 3D scanning is about to debut in Apple’s iPhone X, albeit in a massively miniaturised form. The technology is not dead at Microsoft, even though Kinect as a product is no more. An evolved form of Kinect’s technology is also at the heart of Microsoft’s augmented reality headset Hololens, and the team behind Kinect have gone on to develop the Cortana voice assistant, the biometric ID systems built into Windows and more.