Microsoft's Kinect designed to withstand lots of punishment

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.

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I bought the kinect wall mount from Amazon.com so I could place it above my flat screen TV on the wall, it is MUCH more accurate this way than setting it below the TV. I have tried both and mounting it above the TV also gives it a lot broader area to view for accuracy. So far it works great and my kids love it...

I don't know about Kinect. I have a PS Move and it works amazingly. Tonight I tried the Kinect for the first time at my brothers house, and I was very disappointed with how laggy and inaccurate it was. We even ran through the calibrations for voice and motion and it still seem quite bad at detecting us accurately or without lag. I hear Kinect has outsold PS Move by a large margin, but as far as I'm concerned, the PS Move hardware is much better and more accurate.

Invizibleyez said,
I don't know about Kinect. I have a PS Move and it works amazingly. Tonight I tried the Kinect for the first time at my brothers house, and I was very disappointed with how laggy and inaccurate it was. We even ran through the calibrations for voice and motion and it still seem quite bad at detecting us accurately or without lag. I hear Kinect has outsold PS Move by a large margin, but as far as I'm concerned, the PS Move hardware is much better and more accurate.

Defective unit?

htcz said,

Defective unit?

I wonder... Maybe. I should look into that as it was so laggy and inaccurate that I sometimes wasn't sure I was controlling it.

They sure got the "look good on the TV" part right.
And it's amazing that they still haven't gotten a competitor, and Kinect 2 may be on it's way!

Kinect was designed with 2006-2007 Hw. I hope they build a Kinect hd and considering the advances since 2007 in both camera and sensor technology, I could even see them building it into WP7. The HTC Evo 3d with an ir projector and sensor could be a real revolution. Imaging being an interior decorator or architect and walking into a room and on the fly generating a 3d model of the room. With the right application, it could help the visually impaired. It could have a ton of practical uses. Let's hope they make an updated version when windows 8 comes out.

"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."

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but that sounds like a very bold claim. There's nothing you can do (aside from unplugging everything) to protect your equipment from a lightning-induced power surge. While it's nice Kinect has built-in surge protection, saying it can withstand high power surges as a result of lightning strikes sounds a bit wrong considering that all those surge protectors people buy will do nothing if the surge is strong enough.

Time to start throwing things and see how long it lasts. Reminds me of the Wii videos (and warnings) with people throwing their controllers into their tv meaning if you ARE going to test out the punishment handling abilities of your Kinect then please aim carefully.