Microsoft reportedly axed its McLaren phone with Kinect-like controls

Windows Phone 8.1
One Windows Phone 8.1 device we may never see

Goldfinger may not have been the kiss of death for James Bond, but a Windows Phone prototype originally bearing the same name appears to have met its maker in the form of ... its maker.

WPCentral reported last week that Microsoft has apparently cancelled plans for a new high-end Windows Phone handset known as "McLaren," an internal codename previously referred to as "Goldfinger."

Apparently lacking the Midas touch, McLaren was rumored to be Microsoft's flagship device for this fall, which would have reportedly introduced new technology alongside the launch of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2.

McLaren's main claim to fame was an enticing new feature known as 3D Touch, a sensor-based system first outed in November 2013 that allows users to interact with the device using touchless hand gestures.

Feature or gimmick?

Although that sounds more than a little like the new Amazon Fire Phone, Microsoft apparently found a way to perform such tasks as swipes and side taps without the use of camera sensors.

3D Touch worked hand-in-hand with other APIs including MixView, a feature which lets a single tile break apart into smaller pieces, each of which could be independently selected using a finger hovering over the display.

WPCentral's report paints the impression that Microsoft's development team found 3D gestures to be little more than a gimmick at the moment, although development on the technology behind 3D Touch is said to be ongoing even as McLaren turns cold.

While one assumption might be that McLaren was axed as a result of last week's extensive layoffs, unnamed sources claim the project actually its end sometime "within the last few weeks," leaving Microsoft with a potentially big hole in its 2014 holiday lineup.

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