Microsoft paid a big price when it released an imperfect Xbox 360 console back in 2005. Multiple hardware failures of that first generation version of the console caused the company to make a big $1 billion commitment to fix the "red rings of death" issues. Microsoft decided to not make the same mistake when it made its Xbox 360 add-on product; the Kinect motion controller camera. In a new article on Venture Beat the company revealed that the Kinect was actually designed to withstand a lot of punishment.
While the Kinect can't actually withstand a lighting strike, the Kinect team did design it so it could survive if your house is hit by lighting and the power surge from the electrical wires hits the Kinect controller. Microsoft also tested the device so it could work under hot temperatures, sudden drops on surfaces like concrete and lots more. Kinect team members, who got to speak about how they made the device at a chip conference this week, had just 18 months to make the Kinect.
There were a lot of things that the engineers wanted to put into the device. One is that it wanted to make the Kinect look good sitting on top of a TV or entertainment system. Another was that it had to be easy to set up and use. Microsoft also either acquired companies or licensed technology from groups like Primesense to help make its motion sensing camera work. Microsoft also created its own software to help in the image sensing features. The camera itself was over engineered as well as Microsoft realized that the Kinect would need to be updated to improve its accuracy and also include new features.