Friday, 02 January 2015 12:43

The original Windows Kinect will be diskinected Featured

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The first Kinect camera for the Xbox 360 and then Windows PCs, from Israeli company Primesense, now owned by Apple, is being phased out in favour of the Xbox One’s new Kinect camera.

Microsoft’s Kinect camera was supplied by Israeli company Primesense, a company that had first tried getting Apple interested in its technology before getting onto the Xbox 360 - but now Kinect 1.0's being disconnected on Windows and Microsoft is informing that its next of Kin(ect v2) is the future. 

The Kinect sensor then became available for Windows PCs, and promised to usher in an era of the gesture-based ‘natural user interface’ for PCs, but despite gesture’s popularity with the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, Kinect never really took off on PCs.

It also didn’t really take off at all on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones either, ending up as a perfect example of the various memes that say things like ’75% of the time it works every time!’

Another gesture-based interface for PCs is Leap Motion’s sensor for PCs and Macs, and while it has generated a lot of interest, waving your hands around at a PC just hasn’t taken off in the way the film Johnny Mnemonic or Minority Report predicted - or at least, not yet.

Sure, it’s there for gaming on the Xbox One and the Nintendo Wii consoles, but it’s also tiring. It’s much easier to type or talk to your computer than to wave your hands in the air when browsing or doing actual work.

With Microsoft creating its own motion sensing camera technology for the Xbox One, which is Kinect 2.0, Microsoft no longer needed Primesense.

So, Primesense did what it started in the first place and went back to Apple, which purchased Primesense in 2013.

We’re yet to see the fruits of Apple’s Primesense purchase, but if Apple does introduce gesture based computing to its smartphones, tablets and computers, we can expect Apple to do it right and trigger the technology’s true popularity.

It’s true that Microsoft has had great success on the gaming front, and is replacing its original Kinect sensor for Windows with its new Kinect 2.0 technology, which you can see here but perhaps Microsoft is waiting to really wow us with Kinect technology deeply integrated into Windows 10.

That would be really quite something, if only Microsoft is actually working on really delivering this. Its blog post (linked at the end of this article) makes the right noises, as such, but we will see whether Windows 10’s launch comes and goes with or without making a real Kinection.

We’ll just have to wait and see, but in theory, the world of computing is still set to come with a stack of gesticulative gesticulation.

If it’s a success, we may all end up gestickled pink - or we may all end up with sore arms, but we’ll know for sure whether the ‘natural’ user interface is truly natural - or unnatural!

Microsoft’s Kinect for Windows blog has plenty more information.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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