First Kinect prototype cost Microsoft $30,000

Grumbling over the prospect of spending $150 on a Kinect sensor? At least you didn't have to drop $30,000 to get your Sonic Free Riders on. The NYT reports that the first Kinect prototype cost Microsoft that much to build -- which kind of makes the fact that Microsoft was able to get that technology into a $150 box (on each sale of which, the Times' Ashlee Vance notes, MS will profit) a bit more impressive.

The article provides a tidbit of new information about how the device recognizes people. In the case of identical, identically-dressed twins, the Kinect's software will evidently distinguish between the two by asking each to identify him or herself. "'If it can't disambiguate, we say, 'Please tell us if you are A or B,'" Xbox director of incubation Alex Kipman said. "Then, you end up with the equivalent of a different bar code." You'll be able to turn your family into bar codes on November 4.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.