Microsoft has confirmed that it has shut down the manufacturing of the Kinect motion camera and microphone accessory for its Xbox game console. Although the Kinect is dead for the Xbox, the technology behind it will continue to live on in Microsoft’s other products.

Kinect creator Alex Kipman and general manager of Xbox Devices Marketing Matthew Lapsen revealed the news exclusively to Co.Design in an interview. Since debuting in 2010 for the Xbox 360, Microsoft has sold around 35 million units of the Kinect accessory.

The Kinect accessory allows users to turn on their Xbox console by simply saying “Xbox On” and it allowed motion tracking for some supported experiences, like dancing games. It was also capable of detecting and recognizing faces using depth-sensing 3D sensors for the camera. At the time, the Kinect was seen as having the potential to be a new way to interact with games and consoles in general.

The Kinect was actually a pretty big deal during its early years. Back in 2011, it became the Guinness World Record holder of fastest-selling consumer device, as pointed out by The Verge. It was also popular among tinkerers who were finding new a creative ways to use the accessory.

Unfortunately, Kinect’s pricing ($149.99 for the Xbox 360) and set of features didn’t really go so well with a lot of consumers. When Microsoft announced the Xbox One, the company bundled Kinect along with the console for $499, which is $100 more than the PS4. Again, consumers weren’t happy with this and Microsoft was eventually forced to sell Kinect separately from the Xbox One.

“When we introduced Xbox One, we designed it to have the best experience with Kinect. That was our goal with the Xbox One launch,” Lapsen said. “And like all product launches, you monitor that over time, you learn and adjust.”

These last few years have been tough for the Kinect accessory. Microsoft gradually deemphasized its existence and focused solely on delivering a more traditional console gaming experience to better compete with Sony’s PlayStation 4. When Microsoft announced the Xbox One S, it didn't even have a Kinect port.

Microsoft said that it will continue to support Kinect for all Xbox gamers. However, the company will no longer produce it once retailers are able to sell all of their remaining stock. What remains unclear however is whether developer tools will continue receiving support from Microsoft.

Although manufacturing has shut down for Kinect, Microsoft still sees that its technology will continue to have a bright future for the company. The technology that made the Kinect possible is already being used on Microsoft’s Windows Hello facial recognition system for Windows 10. Kinect was also essential in the company’s Cortana AI digital assistant and the HoloLens augmented reality headset. Microsoft is already working on Kinect V5 to power the HoloLens.

Even Apple’s iPhone X is benefitting from Kinect. Back in 2013, Apple acquired the Israeli company PrimeSense, which developed the 3D tracking technology that Microsoft licensed for the original Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360. The Face ID sensor on the iPhone X is almost like a mini version of the Kinect camera.

Microsoft has stopped producing the Kinect accessory for the Xbox One. REUTERS/Nick Adams