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With consumers up in arms about Microsoft dropping Kinect, we look at not just the future of Xbox One, but its future and relevance outside of the gaming world and it’s possibilities

In February this year, Xbox UK managing director Harvey Eagle said, “The reason for doing this is about giving gamers in the U.K. the best value we can with Xbox One.” While this may have boosted sales, it could be argued that some gamers will not benefit from the future of the console as it evolves in the short term as the Kinect, as yet is not available for separate purchase for the Xbox One. Conversely to some it should be of consequence, as they do not use the Kinect for games that do not require the sensor as an essential or reap the advantages from it already on Xbox 360.

While this was originally never supposed to happen, as Microsoft claimed it would never drop the sensor while in competition with Sony and their release of the Playstation 4 (which was cheaper as a result of having no motion sensor as obligation) it has indeed come to pass, to the disgust of many consumers and critics alike. While Sony does have its own motion capture sensor, and can be purchased separately, Microsoft is not offering this option, and is now about to release the Kinect as a standalone piece of equipment, but not for Xbox, it is in fact a standalone piece intended for Windows.

PC gamers and programming enthusiasts are not the only ones however, that will look to seek benefits from the Kinect. Physiotherapy is one of the main benefactors as late of the Kinect, but there have also been tests and research carried out with the intention to aid surgeons in the execution of precision surgery. There are plans for its implementation in the future of neuroscience and utilising the Kinect’s motion capture surgeons will be able to gain usage from it as a tool to explore 3D models of the brain. Helena Mantis is a postdoctoral researcher at the helm of the exploration into how the Kinect can aid the world at a medical capacity and not just one of entertainment. “Even before Kinect came on the market, my colleagues and I started to do some fieldwork with an eye on whether something could be developed for surgical theatres,” Mantis said. It would enable doctors and surgeons to negate such human errors like miscalculation and timing and reduces physical contamination. Although still in the test phase and pending government approval, she adds, “The idea of being able to control almost anything with just a wave of the hand really speaks to how surgeons want to feel like they have control over things. They want to be able to save as much time as possible and to be able to get a patient in and out of anaesthesia as quickly as possible.”

— Ian Dunne, Correspondent (Tech)

Image Courtesy: BagoGames (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/14196724661/in/photolist-nCvVCR-aFWN7P), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr

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