The OpenNI website, home to a widely used framework for 3D sensing, will be shutdown in April. Fortunately the code will continue to be available via GitHub.
When, in November 2013, Apple bought PrimeSense for $350 million, we speculated how this would affect the Capri mobile technology but we omitted to wonder what would happen to OpenNI, the open source SDK used for the development of 3D sensing apps founded by Primesense.
Now we know the bad news. The OpenNI site is to close on April 23, 2014 and software downloads will not be available after this date.
After Apple acquired PrimeSense, its website quickly shut, but the Developers link still points to Open NI:
The status of OpenNI is a not-for-profit whose framework allows developers to create middleware and applications for a range of devices, including the Asus Xtion Pro. It claims to be a widely used community with over 100,000 active 3D developers.
Surely that, together with the "open" nature of its software could have guaranteed it a longer future?
It seems not.
A thread on the Future of OpenNI reports that there are are no longer any OpenNI staff to respond to queries and some members feel that OpenNI is doomed due to the new time-of-flight sensors, including Microsoft's latest release of Kinect.
On the other hand the fact that the code is online at GitHub means that developers who want to continue with the framework can and on another thread a community member confirms that distributing the OpenNI source code is allowable.