Thursday, October 26, 2017

Microsoft Discontinues Kinect

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.

4 comments:

  1. 50W for Kinect 1 ???
    It was powered by USB2 (Max 2.5W).

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  2. Cannot look up the number right now but it was powered by a custom USB cable that had an external power supply attached to it, so it wasn't powered by a computer.

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    Replies
    1. True, Kinect-1 USB power supply is rated 12V, 1.08A:

      https://www.amazon.com/360-Kinect-Sensor-Adapter-Supply-Microsoft/dp/B01M9CEKMI

      Second, they probably include the main CPU power needed for depth processing. The rumor is that it used to consume 60% of Xbox 360 CPU.

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  3. Sad. The Kinect2 and 1 are both excellent depth sensors, quite a bit beyond anything in the Realsense line. But a depth sensor is a tool, and unless there is a need for the tool, even if the tool is super well made, then this happens.

    If MSFT actually knew what to do with the ToF tech that they now own, they could really create some breakout businesses, but they are stuck with a very narrow (field of) vision (see what I did there lol?).

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