Microsoft has decided to stop making the Azure Kinect Developer Kit. However, the technology won’t disappear as it will still be accessible through Microsoft’s partners.
The Azure Kinect Developer Kit is a complete package with various components, including a depth sensor, a spatial microphone array combined with a video camera, and an orientation sensor. Its purpose is to enable the creation of advanced computer vision and speech models.
Microsoft has used depth-sensing cameras for a while in its Xbox and HoloLens products. The depth camera module used in HoloLens 2 was also given to developers as the Azure Kinect Developer Kit. It licenses its tech to other companies like Analog Devices, SICK A.G., and Orbbec.
Microsoft has also announced to their customers that they can use the Azure Kinect Developer Kit if they already use it as usual. The SDK will still be around, and you can buy devices until October or until they run out.
Microsoft’s announcement likely signifies a strategic decision to leverage partnerships and ecosystem dynamics to continue the development, distribution, and adoption of their depth-sensing technology in a more scalable, adaptable, and aligned with the market’s changing demands.