What is the Kinect?
In 2010, Microsoft unveiled the world’s first fully controller less motion controller system to their XBOX 360 gaming console. This product was named the XBOX Kinect.
The Kinect operated through an infrared camera system and microphone array which tracks the movement of the players and picks up audio cues which are correlated to actions that are displayed on the screen.
The Kinect was an optional ad on to the XBOX 360. With the launch of the XBOX One on the 22nd of November 2013, the Kinect came bundled by default with the launch edition of the game console, as Microsoft made it a requirement to own the Kinect to make the XBOX One game console work.
The fall of the Kinect
Microsoft bundling the Kinect with the XBOX One had the intent of adopting a fully motion control style of play to become more mainstream and widely used but despite Microsoft putting their best efforts to make the XBOX Kinect more mainstream, they had no avail.
The games available for the Kinect fell into the category of ‘Family Entertainment’ or ‘Fitness Training’ which are far from the core gamer demographic that made up most of the XBOX 360 owning audience.
Microsoft convinced a lot of large game publishers to integrate the Kinect features into their games, this often led to the features being gimmicky and not used as much as Microsoft hoped for. An example of this would be receiving a Red Card in Fifa for swearing into the microphone.
On the other hand, some developers simply were not interested in including Kinect features in their games because they had invested a lot in making the game operate well with the traditional controller and thus did not see any point of tailoring the game for the Kinect integration.
How is the Kinect making its comeback?
After many years, the Kinetic is making its reincarnation, taking aid from British broadcasting and telecommunications company, Sky Inc to do so. Sky Inc will be launching its latest product called Sky Glass on the 18th of October 2021 to the market.
Sky Glass is a smart TV which has Sky services built into it. Unlike traditional cable box set top boxes which require a satellite dish, the Sky TV will use an active internet connection to stream every channel, show and app to the TV.
As well as this, Sky is including social features to the device with which Microsoft’s Kinect technology comes into play in the Sky Glass camera accessory.
With the Sky Glass camera, users will have the ability to video chat with friends and family and allow screen sharing of the TV content so that content can be enjoyed together despite not being physically present.
According to Sky’s Chief Product Officer Fraster Stirling, the partnership with Microsoft has created a “fantastic feature”.
Stirling says: “Working with Microsoft we’re also building a fantastic feature that lets us watch TV together even if we’re miles apart. It syncs your TV with other households, with integrated video and chat on-screen, and you can choose content from the biggest channels — including Premier League matches, movies, and all your favorite entertainment.”
The Sky Glass camera even enables some games to be played using it, one of which included Fruit Ninja amongst many more.
Though the Kinect was initially intended to revolutionize the way video games were to be played, the technology packed within it has been used in practice in other industries which are able to utilize the Kinect to its fullest potential.