Microsoft to Discontinue Original Kinect for Windows
Out with the old, in with the new. Supplies of the original Kinect for Windows motion sensor that became popular among tech enthusiasts and hardware hackers will dry up in 2015.Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360 console was not only a commercial success for the company, it helped kick-start a 3D sensing, hardware-hacking movement. This year, the motion sensor's Windows counterpart is being put out to pasture. The Redmond, Wash.-based company released Kinect for Windows v2, based on the more advanced unit that is available for the newer Xbox One console, and its accompanying software development kit (SDK 2.0) in October. "The availability of the v2 sensor and SDK 2.0 means that we will be phasing out the sale of the original Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015," announced the Kinect for Windows Team in a Dec. 30 blog post. Kinect sold like gangbusters after its November 2010 release. In just four months after the motion-tracking peripheral launched, Microsoft revealed that it has sold 10 million units, enough to be named the world's fastest-selling consumer electronics device as confirmed by Guinness World Records. While consumers scooped up Kinect, it was also popular among hardware hackers and tech enthusiasts.
The appearance of an open-source driver enabled PC users to access the Kinect's sensors and 3D camera at a fraction of the cost of similar technologies. Despite some short-lived legal warnings from Microsoft, what followed was a flood of projects, including 3D scanners and robots that could navigate their surroundings.