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Microsoft Stops Making Motion-Tracking Kinect Device
By Rachel Lerman
Posted: October 26, 2017 8:29am PDT

Microsoft is ending production of Kinect, the motion-tracking device that captivated casual gamers when it was first released in 2010.

Despite its early popularity with customers, the technology never caught on quite enough with game developers, and Microsoft slowly began to move away from the Kinect device.

It was released during the age of Xbox 360 and continued to the Xbox One, but Microsoft in 2014 stopped requiring customers to buy the Kinect when they purchased a gaming console. In the next version of the Xbox, Microsoft eliminated a dedicated connection port for the Kinect.

The device uses tracking cameras that allow gamers to play with their whole bodies -- meaning they could physically kick their foot to send a soccer ball flying inside a game -- and voice-recognition microphones that let players command the Xbox using their voices.

Microsoft will still offer support for gamers who own Kinects, and the Kinect will work with the upcoming Xbox One X.

"Manufacturing for Kinect for Xbox One has ended but it is not the end of the journey for the technology," the company said in a statement Wednesday.

The Kinect sensor is used in the HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented-reality technology, according to Fast Company, which reported the Ki­nect news early Wednesday.

Pieces of the Kinect technology are also used within Microsoft's artificial-intelligence technology Cortana, as well as the Xbox One, the company said.

Microsoft said it sold about 35 million Kinect units.

© 2017 Seattle Times. Syndicated here under contract with YellowBrix, Inc. All rights reserved.

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