Anyone who has been aware of the gaming industry in the last decade clearly knows about Microsoft’s Kinect; a piece of technology revolving around motion sensing camera that was supposed to take the gaming to the next level. I have to say that despite company’s countless attempts at making Kinect a household name, it did not manage to sell as a mainstream console or an accessory, and less than a year ago, in October, 2017, Microsoft announced that it is pulling the plug on Kinect.
While many thought that the final nail in Kinect’s coffin has been hit, you need to understand that the future for Kinect is far from over. How? Well, in case you don’t know, Kinect is still somewhat available in Microsoft’s future oriented products – I am talking about drones, as well AI applications. In case you do not know, the sensors that were powering Kinect are an important part in the HoloLens, and considering how Microsoft has announced Project Kinect for Azure, it is safe to say that the company is still looking to make more advancements as they go further.
According to Alex Kipman who works Microsoft, the original vision for Microsoft with Kinect was to create something capable of understanding people as well as recognize them so the computers can finally start to work on a more human scale. Creative developers finally understood that Kinect is something that can be used for more than just gaming.
It seems like Microsoft understood the effect of video games on industries outside the gaming industry as well. That is why the company always managed to use the Xbox platform as a way of proving or showcasing what they believed in.
At the current moment, the gaming industry is worth more than $100 billion and this is not a figure that is standing still as it is growing every single year. Microsoft is not only reviving Kinect in newer ways, but it is also going to testing the limits of the new and improved machine learning of Kinect in the gaming industry. This further solidifies if we look at the GDC that happened this year, Microsoft was showing some really amazing practical applications of their new Windows Machine Learning API. The company also talked about how it wants the developers to finally start using dynamic neural networks that will help them create a tailored experience for every gamer.
Looking at Microsoft’s stance at the moment, it is safe to say that the company is doing some real hard work. Sure, most of us thought that the future of Kinect is not something that can survive for a long time, but the good thing is that Microsoft is testing it properly, and not just testing it, but also implementing it and making it better. The gaming industry has a future that is full of surprises, and for many, it is too soon to comment. I am just interested in seeing where this direction takes Microsoft, and the rest of the industry.