As you may or may not know, Apple bought PrimeSense, the people who developed the original Kinect technology, and made the Carmine (and ASUS Xtion) depth cameras. The first and immediate effect of this was for the Carmine and Xtion cameras to disappear.
Well, now PrimeSense is pulling the license on NITE, the skeleton and gesture tracking part of OpenNI, so it will be illegal to continue to use it. In other words, no more skeleton tracking with your Xtion or Carmine. Nada.
The OpenNI website is going away too, so make sure you’ve got the latest binaries and sources. OpenNI itself, and the Sensor drivers are open source, so you can still use those. Time will tell if someone steps in to maintain them.
I think this means that Apple is going to announce some kind of depth camera/gesture product. Pulling OpenNI will only drive people to Microsoft, and that makes no sense unless they have something coming out soon.
That is sad news.
The Kinect2 works pretty good though, so when that one hits the market and Microsoft incorporates some of the more advanced features in the SDK (like e.g. face recognition, heart rate detection etc.) will be more fun to use anyway. The big companies starting a race on innovative computer vision companies - so the next years we will probably find a lot more tracking technology (which isnt new at all, but was hidden mostly in research labs and universities) in increasingly smaller devices. Scary and exciting at the same time :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=hagxEYvForQ