How Kinect Is Branching Out From Its Video Game Roots

By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2015-07-17

The dearth of Kinect news from this year's E3 conference in June, the video game industry's premiere event, raised eyebrows among technology watchers. Was Microsoft throwing in the towel? The motion-sensing peripheral, now in its second generation, was originally bundled with the Xbox One in 2013, inflating its price to $500. It's one of the primary reasons Sony, with its $399 PlayStation 4 (base price) was able to establish a commanding lead in the current-generation console war. Microsoft has since made Kinect optional on the Xbox One, helping the console regain lost ground. While the move does not bode well for the device, like its first-generation predecessor, developers and hardware hackers continue to flock to Kinect. A new generation of Kinect-based innovations range from smile-inducing to potentially life-saving. Developers are also harnessing the motion controller's sensors to power new experiences that help brick-and-mortar shops, which are constantly under siege by e-commerce companies, engage with consumers in new, revenue-boosting ways. Here are some of the ways Kinect is branching out from its video game roots.


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