The Microsoft engineers building Kinect “knew this thing was going to be viewed as a toy,” says one, “and so it was going to be abused.” So they abused it first, toughening the thing up to the point it could be dropped on concrete and still function.
Now, it’s not said how high of a fall onto concrete Kinect is rated for, one of very few details not present in a lengthy examination of how Microsoft designed the device. The thing was also built to survive power surges if your house gets blasted by lightning. It’s not guaranteed to survive, but it has a chance.
Making Kinect a tough sumbitch is foresighted, because undoubtedly there are hundreds out there who didn’t buy the official $US20 doo-dad that mounts it to the top of your TV, and have tried to balance it atop their plasma screen anyway.
The rest of the piece, if you are so inclined, explains how they built something that really does do its job remarkably, at an estimated parts cost of $US56 per unit, which are then sold for $US149.