Microsoft Discontinues Kinect

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Alex Kipman, Microsoft 3D vision architect, and Matthew Lapsen, GM of Xbox Devices Marketing told in an interview with Co.Design that Microsoft is discontinuing Kinect ToF device. While the Kinect as a standalone product leaves the market, Microsoft is not abandoning the ToF technology. It's currently being used in Microsoft Hololens, with its new version is being developed. Kinect’s ToF team has been re-targeted to build other Microsoft products, including the Cortana voice assistant, the Windows Hello biometric facial ID system, and a context-aware user interface for the future that Microsoft dubs Gaze, Gesture, and Voice (GGV).

Since its lunch in 2010, Microsoft has sold 35 million Kinect units, making it the best selling 3D camera, until iPhone X sales reach that milestone sometime next year. In the first few years, Kinect was based on Primesense structured light technology. According to AppleInsider, Microsoft sold 24 million of the PrimeSense-powered Kinect-1 by February of 2013, a little over two years after it launched. This leaves 11 million units for Canesta ToF-based Kinect-2 device.

Other interesting info is the power consumption progress of Micosoft 3D camera over the years: 50W in the structured light-based Kinect-1, 25W in ToF Kinect-2, 1.5W in ToF-based Hololens.

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