|Microsoft kills Kinect just as Apple dives into facial recognition with iPhone X Face ID|
By Neil Hughes
Wednesday, October 25, 2017,
With days until the launch of the iPhone X and its Face ID camera array, Microsoft's own motion sensing and facial recognition system for Xbox, dubbed Kinect, has been officially discontinued after a long period of languish. AppleInsider explains how Apple and Microsoft's separate facial recognition technologies —one failed, one upcoming — both share common roots.
Kinect first debuted as an optional accessory for the Xbox 360 in the fall of 2010, amid a wave of motion-controlled gaming hype. The camera and microphone system found initial success, but quickly faltered as the technical limitations of the device became apparent in gameplay.
For Apple fans, Microsoft's first Kinect for Xbox 360 is noteworthy because it was based on technology licensed from an Israeli company called PrimeSense. Apple eventually bought PrimeSense for $345 millionin late 2013, paving the way for the Face ID technology that will debut next Friday in the iPhone X.
After the first Kinect lost steam, Microsoft went with different —and more expensive —technology for Kinect 2.0. That resulted in the next-generation Xbox One launching with a high $500 price tag — $100 more than its primary competitor, Sony's PlayStation 4.
With sales struggling, Microsoft looked to reduce costs on the Xbox One, and began selling it without the Kinect sensor. Support for the accessory quickly became nonexistent.
This week, Microsoft confirmed to Fast Company that it has ceased manufacturing of the Kinect hardware entirely. Given the lack of Kinect support on Xbox One, it's not surprising.