Microsoft kills Kinect again

Microsoft kills Kinect again

Microsoft is discontinuing the Kinect — again. The company officially stopped manufacturing the depth camera and microphone in 2017 and brought it back in a new form in 2019 as the Azure Kinect Developer Kit. Now, Microsoft is ending production of that, too, but it has partnered with some outside companies to provide options available for people who need similar types of devices.

If you want to get one of the remaining Azure Kinect Developer Kits, they’ll be available to buy through the end of October or “until supplies last,” Microsoft’s Swati Mehta said in a post on the company’s website. If you already have one, Mehta promises that you can keep using it “without disruption.”

“As the needs of our customers and partners evolve, we regularly update our products to best support them,” Mehta wrote. “From time to time, this includes introducing new opportunities, as well as retiring products. We have made the decision to end production of Azure Kinect Developer Kit, but this is far from the end of this technology as it will continue to be available through our partner ecosystem.” One alternate suggestion from Mehta is Orbbec’s Femto Bolt, which uses the depth camera module found in the Azure Kinect Developer Kit.

The first Kinect launched with the Xbox 360. A newer version was originally supposed to be a requirement to use the Xbox One, but Microsoft changed that policy ahead of the console’s release. Just a few months after that console came out, Microsoft announced an Xbox One that wasn’t bundled with a Kinect.

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