[Kinect Teardown (1)] Breaking Down Kinect’s Stand
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad started to tear down the “Kinect for Xbox360,” a motion controller for Microsoft Corp’s “Xbox 360” game console, with help from Japanese engineers.
Before breaking down the controller, we would like to review its features.
The Kinect, which was launched Nov 4, 2010, in the US, enables to play TV games with motions and voices. And players do not have to hold a device in hand. For example, in a racing game, the car on the screen can be controlled by moving the hands as if turning a steering wheel and tilting the body.
[Kinect Teardown (2)] Struggling With Double-faced Tape
We began to break down the main body of the Kinect motion controller. To open the chassis, we looked for screws. First, we searched a porous area where a microphone seemed to be embedded. It was located on the back of the main body. Human voices seemed to pass through this porous area and reach the microphone.
When closely looked at, the porous part was seemingly detachable. An engineer inserted a flat-blade screwdriver into a gap around the part and tried to pry it open.
[Kinect Teardown (3)] 3-layer Structure Found Inside
After opening the chassis of the main body, we began to examine the internal structure of the Kinect. There were three layers inside, and they were connected together by screws and connectors, constituting a module.
An infrared laser, a camera for infrared light and a camera used to detect visible light were mounted on the first layer (the front most layer). The middle layer was mounted with a middle-size circuit board and a small circuit board, and the third layer was equipped with a large circuit board.
[Kinect Teardown (4)] Mysterious Yellow Stickers
We removed the cooling fan, the lower chassis and the front chassis of the Kinect from its main body so that we could see the entire three-layer module.
An infrared laser, a camera for infrared light, a camera used to detect visible light and other optical parts were found on the first (front most) layer. The middle layer was mounted with a middle-size circuit board and a small circuit board, and the third layer was equipped with a large circuit board.
[Kinect Teardown (5)] 3 Circuit Boards Examined
Finally, we started to break down the three-layer module of the Kinect. First, we removed the large circuit board on the third layer, which was connected to the small and middle-size circuit boards on the middle layer by screws and connectors.
[Kinect Teardown (6)] Elaborately Controlled Laser Temperature
The teardown of the Kinect entered its final phase. We removed circuit boards from the middle and third layers of the three-layer structure. The rest was the first layer equipped with an infrared laser, a camera for infrared light and a camera capable of detecting visible light. The laser and cameras were mounted on a large metal part.