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TEC tames heat in Microsoft's Kinect

Courtesy of CAS Ltd.

The Kinect system inside Microsoft's Xbox contains motion sensing technology allowing Xbox players to use their bodies to control the movement of their on-screen characters. Developed by Tel Aviv-based PrimeSense, the design bathes the scene with encoded infra-red light patterns that are reflected and then analyzed for deformations.

The PrimeSense design includes two cameras and a laser, with power supplied through a USB and limited to 2.5 W. The laser mast, with its temperature limit of 35 deg. C, is cooled by a TEC. However, the mast's compact size, significantly limits space available for the thermoelectric cooling device.

To perform the thermal analysis on its design, PrimeSense engaged thermal consulting firm, CAS Ltd. With the aid of Coolit, CAS analyzed potential configurations and developed a layout that met both the power and size constraints. The successful technology is now found in millions of homes.

Kinect for Windows gives computers eyes, ears, and the capacity to use them.
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