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Kindle Fire- Sensor (?) on upper left corner, what is this?

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Showing 1-25 of 198 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 16, 2011 6:31:41 AM PST
C. Calvert says:
I've read a couple of reviews that say there is no ambient light sensor. However, there does appear to be something in the uper left corner on the face of the Fire. Anyone have any definitive info on what this is?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:08:28 AM PST
Sailorman says:
Looked at the teardown on nothing mentioned there. Also looked at the playbook specs nothing there. My guess would be a light sensor but the only thing it might effect is screen brightness and it does not appear to have any effect on mine.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:15:01 AM PST
Q says:
It's obvious. The federal gov't has required Amazon to incl a super-miniature spy-cam in every Fire. Big Brother is watching ...

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 7:17:38 AM PST
MacDaddy says:
I'm surprised there hasn't been more discussion about this in the forums. I was surprised to notice the sensor when I received my Fire yesterday, primarily because 1) I haven't seen it mentioned in any reviews, and 2) it doesn't appear to serve any functional purpose (at lest not yet, anyway). It certainly looks like a light sensor to me, but who knows. I got pretty excited when I first noticed it because I thought maybe, just maybe, it was a front-facing camera that Amazon would "reveal" as a nice surprise once they had firmware to support it... I know, I'm a dreamer. :) My guess is that it is a light sensor that will be activated in a future firmware update.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:17:40 AM PST
D. Knight says:
They're going to love seeing me first thing in the morning before I've had my first cup of coffee. (Serves them right).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:22:18 AM PST
NG says:
Wasn't there a post a couple of weeks ago, about a secret IR camera to see through clothes (replacing our X-Ray glasses.) How do I turn it on and can it record?

So much for the theory you can't use the Fire at the beach!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:30:31 AM PST
D. Knight says:
C. Calvert - it probably is a light sensor. Go to this page:
which answers questions for potential developers. Under the section for supported features, it says the Fire does have a light sensor.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 7:40:12 AM PST
C. Calvert says:
D.Knight - Thanks, that does seem to say there is a light sensor function.
That is really strange, though. My initial supposition was that this was there...almost like a template frame or something, and this was simply a 'not used' hole. However, if this is an active sensor, it seems crazy for Amazon not to enable ambient dimming.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:44:25 AM PST
D. Knight says:
Ambient dimming may be in a future update. I can see where programming for that would be lower priority than some other things.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 7:46:23 AM PST
M Schultz says:
It's a light sensor. When I started it up out of the box it allowed me to select whether or not I wanted to have the screen adjust to the ambient light in the display settings. I set it down for a little while and noticed that it was doing a software update. Now when I looked in that menu that option is gone. Here I thought software updates were for giving more features, not taking them away.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:49:05 AM PST
D. Knight says:
Maybe it wasn't working properly and they decided to take it out until it is. (Just a guess).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 7:52:39 AM PST
M Schultz says:
That could be. I certainly enjoyed it. Dynamic brightness is definitely a big plus in my book.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2011 8:29:45 AM PST
Olga says:
Man that would be so awesome if Amazon revealed hardware support for a camera. This would make the Fire complete.

Posted on Nov 16, 2011 1:37:24 PM PST
Or maybe it went away because the hardware is not there on all Fires? I have studied the heck out of mine and damned if I can see what you all are talking about.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 5:10:20 AM PST
M Schultz says:
That would be rather odd. If you look at it it's on the top left hand corner (if you're holding it so the power button is facing towards you or toward the ground) about 1/4" or so from the corner both ways. It's barely noticeable unless you're looking for it.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 5:59:22 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2011 6:00:23 AM PST
The Fire is based on the Blackberry Playbook. In fact, it IS a BB Playbook for all intents and purposes. Most likely, the sensor you see on the Fire is a hangover from the Playbook that they just left there rather then redesigning the Fire without it, which would have cost more money I suspect. Someone on here posted that their Fire's ability to set the Automatic Brightness level was removed when they updated their Fire to 6.1. However, I have no idea if this is true, since my Fire immediately started updating as soon as I powered it on, so I don't know what Brightness options the Fire may have before it updated.

Edit to add that yes, the sensor is there on mine too.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 6:04:39 AM PST
Sailorman says:
Looking at the Playbook on line I did not see a sensor in the same location. It is located adjacent to the camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 6:11:46 AM PST
I see that sensor too, though it's hard to tell if there is another on the BB. Like I said, someone claimed to have lost the ability to set Auto Brightness of their Fire after updating to 6.1, so maybe the sensor was deliberate on the Fire.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 6:21:06 AM PST
C. Hilliard says:
I hope it's not a light sensor, the case I'm using (oddly enough, it's the case for my first Kindle which broke but fits the Fire just fine) covers it completely

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 6:21:23 AM PST
I have been looking for it quite closely and if it is there on mine, it is totally invisible!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 7:02:31 AM PST
M Schultz says:
That's the only option that I noticed changed in the update. My Fire came to my work and I don't have any open wifi networks around so I got to play with it before I got home and did updates. Hopefully that comes back in a future software update.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 10:02:11 AM PST
When I received my Kindle Fire yesterday, the option to select auto-brightness was available at first, but was removed when I updated to the latest firmware. I suspect the option was removed because the sensor is too close to the edge and can easily be covered by your hand when holding the unit in landscape mode. Before I knew the location of the sensor and updating the unit, the brightness would occasionally shift to being very bright and then get very dim without any rhyme or reason. Thinking back now, this was happening in regards to how I was placing my hand on the unit- there would be moments when my left hand would partially cover the sensor and other times when I would move slightly away from it.

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 12:02:17 PM PST
C. Calvert says:
If the people who cannot see the sensor here are not missing it (it is almost invisible), and there really isn't one on some devices, then I wonder if this is possibly a different rev of th hardware. Seems like that would have been caught by some tech site by now or something. The teardown on ifixit, def does not mention it at all, however it is (somewhat) clearly visable in the 3rd picture of step 3. The one where the Fire is lying atop an iPad, faces to the camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2011 12:35:07 PM PST
I have finally spotted the thing so it is indeed there on mine after all but you sure do have to know what you are looking for. I had twisted and turned the Fire in all directions in various lighting before I finally spotted it, and that's KNOWING where it was supposed to be!

Posted on Nov 17, 2011 1:14:40 PM PST
L. Gohring says:
Bryan you say it's a BB play book?
I find that intresting because the BBPB was the first tablet that ever caught my eye.
The price kept me away from it.
I need to go google one and compare them :)
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
Participants:  78
Total posts:  198
Initial post:  Nov 16, 2011
Latest post:  5 days ago

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