Microsoft Kinect Has Second Life as IoT Device

You may remember back in 2010 when Microsoft released the Kinect for their gaming system, the Xbox 360. It was during the Wii’s era, when motion-controlled gaming was thought to be the future.

The Kinect took motion gaming to the next level. Unlike the Wii that only used a motion controller, the Kinect recorded the player’s entire body and allowed for greater control. Unfortunately, movement-based gaming turned out to be a fad, and the Kinect didn’t do very well.

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Microsoft has recently announced that the Kinect is making a second comeback; however. you won’t be seeing it in video game stores! Its next life is as an IoT device to help businesses and establishments with their goals.

Shifting the Focus

The reason behind this decision is due to how the Kinect functions as a piece of hardware. Yes, it may have failed as a gaming peripheral, but it was still a powerful piece of kit. Its ability to identify people and their movements made it effective in specific niches.

As such, while it didn’t cut it in the gaming world, this new version of Kinect brings the focus to business applications. Instead of detecting where a gamer is standing and what they’re doing, the Kinect will instead be used to report on a patient’s status or check if there’s stock in a warehouse.

More than Just Kinect

The new Kinect, however, goes one step further than its predecessor. It’s more than just a camera; it also has the ability to connect to Microsoft’s IoT cloud service, Azure.

This connection to Azure means it’s not just a camera – it’s a sensor to a larger system. Instead of being just a camera to monitor a patient, it can also send a warning to a central hub if the patient falls out of bed. Instead of just watching the stock in a warehouse, it can alert the workers that something is missing.

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As such, this isn’t a peripheral for a gaming console. It has achieved more than its original design and entered the world of business. The Kinect has become an IoT camera that can help businesses achieve their goals without personal intervention.

Will the Kinect Be Used in the Home?

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Probably not! It’s unsure if this new Kinect will even be sold in consumer stores. It’s more than likely going to be something that businesses can use to achieve their goals rather than something consumers will like.

At the same time, it’s not really something the average consumer will want in their home. Unlike something like the Nest, the Kinect requires bespoke software to do its job. As such, it’s likely only ever going to be needed by businesses with a specific need for this new Kinect model.

Re-Kinecting with the Kinect

While the Kinect didn’t make for a great gaming peripheral, it was still a powerful piece of kit that could help with other practical applications. Microsoft is therefore giving it a second chance with business applications.

Do you think this re-imagining of the Kinect will be more popular? Let us know below.

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