News comes out that Microsoft has ended production of Kinect. For gamers this is a bummer once eBay goes through the surplus of used Kinects, but it also has some ramifications for robot builders who use this device -- either with a Windows ROS or hacked into with Linux -- for various motion recognition tasks. We know that a $50 color camera can do about the same thing, but that takes some fairly sophisticated software. What's out there to choose that's as easy to use as the Kinect?
I'm hopeful that the Kinect's demise might spur more open source development of motion recognition using 2D (or even 3D) cameras. Perhaps the latest iterations of lower-cost 180 degree LiDARs can be used in conjunction with optical recognition for motion tracking, depth perception, room mapping, and so on.