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Microsoft Kinect Gutted: Four Microphones, Two Cameras, And One Very Important Fan

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Oh my! When the folks at iFixit tore down a Microsoft Kinect they found a strong little fan among the many, many sensors. They suspect that Microsoft's a bit paranoid about heat dissipation after the Xbox 360's red-ring-of death problems.


If you're curious about what's inside this sleek little gadget, here's a summary courtesy of iFixit:

* Four microphones. Four! We've taken apart binaural devices before, but this is our first quadaural sensor setup!
* Three autofocus cameras: Two infrared cameras optimized for depth detection. One standard visual-spectrum camera used for visual recognition.
* An IR transmitting diode.
* A fan. For a 12-watt device, Microsoft seems very paranoid about heat dissipation. This is understandable considering the Xbox 360's red-ring-of death problems. This is a good thing for consumers, but we can't help but wonder if they've gone overboard in the cooling department.
* 64 MB of Hynix DDR2 SDRAM
* A motor. This motor is nothing to write home about. It's quite tiny. Diminutive, even. So tiny that you might want to make sure you keep Kinect out of your toddler's reach, because forcing it to pan could damage the gears.
* A three-axis accelerometer. We suspect this is used to increase the accuracy of the panning motor.
* A Prime Sense PS1080-A2. Kinect is based on Prime Sense's motion detection technology. This chip is the Kinect's brains-all the sensors are wired into here for processing before transmitting a refined depth map and color image to the Xbox.


Want to know more or see the step-by-step teardown? Hit the iFixit link for the gadget gore photos or check out the look we took inside the Kinect a while ago. [iFixit]

Update: iFixit sent a little correction regarding the number of cameras in the Kinect:

We initially incorrectly reported Kinect had three cameras. It actually has two-we mistakenly identified Microsoft's fancy new IR projector as a camera.