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What's Inside Microsoft's Kinect, Anyway?

Just as new users were settling in to play with Microsoft's latest Xbox 360 accessory, iFixit was tearing their unit apart. What? Someone's gotta do the dirty work around here.

This is slightly more interesting than most of the gadget teardowns iFixit does because there are not a lot of products like Kinect out there. When it comes to phones, netbooks, laptops and MP3 players, we know what it takes to put a device like that together. However, Kinect is a different story altogether. On Monday, we overheard one guy in line to buy Kinect telling someone, "I don't actually know how it works; I think it runs on magic actually. That sounds right," and we think a lot of people might be in the same boat. Maybe not to that extreme, but you'd probably like to know more about what's inside, right?

Well, here's what iFixit found:

* Four microphones -- a first, according to CEO Kyle Wiens. "We've taken apart binaural devices before, but this is our first quadaural sensor setup!"

* Two cameras (pictured).

* An IR transmitting diode.

* One fan. Wiens says that for a 12-watt device, Microsoft seems very paranoid about heat dissipation and blames this paranoia on the infamous red-ring-of-death problems that have plagued the 360. "This is a good thing for consumers, but we can't help but wonder if they've gone overboard in the cooling department," Kyle said.

* 64 MB of Hynix DDR2 SDRAM.

* A "tiny, diminutive, even" motor (pictured).

* A three-axis accelerometer.

* A Prime Sense PS1080-A2. "Kinect is based on Prime Sense's motion detection technology," explains Kyle. "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."

So now you know what's inside, why don't you check out the pictures? Click on through to iFixit for the full gallery!