GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

November 4, 2010 -

A story on GameSpot details the problems two dark-skinned site employees had with Microsoft’s Kinect, the just-released, controller-free add-on for the Xbox 360.

According to the site, the two employees in question had problems with Kinect’s facial recognition abilities. One GameSpoter’s face was recognized “inconsistently,” while when it came to the face of the other staffer, Kinect was “never able to properly identify the other despite repeated calibration attempts.”

To make it even more confounding, Kinect had “no problems” recognizing the face of a third dark-skinned employee. No hurdles were reported with Kinect’s skeletal tracking system for any of the employees, which is good, as it is the primary means of controlling on-screen action.

The problem may or may not be that big of a deal however, as GameSpot wrote:

The system's inability to recognize a user only means that he or she would need to sign in manually and some games' features may not work properly as a result. For example, when a second player joins in to Kinect Adventures during the title's drop-in, drop-out multiplayer, the system can't bring up that player's proper in-game avatar automatically if it can't identify the new user first.


Comments

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

How long until the NCAA, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton get involved with this?  How long until racism allegation pop up and say MS is racist?

 

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Anyone remember the show, Better Off Ted?  There was an episode where the company wired all the technology in the building (lights, doors, elevators, water fountains) to facial recognition cameras, to save money.  But the cameras wouldn't recognize black people.  Lights would shut off on them when white people left the room, they got trapped in rooms and elevators by the automatic doors, couldn't get a drink, etc.  The company eventually hired white people to follow the black employees around to activate things for them, and put in a separate water fountain for blacks (it was more hilarious than it sounds).

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

I knew this issue ever since MS bought the company that invented the camera... (I was named Z Cam or something like that), there was reports of black (not just dark skinned) journalists not getting even skeletal tracking to work. --- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames
--- Maurício Gomes twitter.com/agfgames

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Thats the exact video I was reminded of myself

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

 Class Action Lawsuit, anyone?

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

More like a lolsuit, amerite?

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

As I and another poster mentioned, virutally every face recognition device on the market has problems like this. Some can't track black faces, some can't pick white faces out in bright light or against a light background, some think asians have their eyes closed. The biggest consumer victory I've heard of over the fact is a refund of the price difference down to a comparable modle without blink detection.

As for the other poster, a wheelchair bound or obese person can collect if a theme park doesn't have accessability ramps for them to get in. They can't collect because they're physically or medically unable to go on the rides.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

This would imply that most class action lawsuites are designed in the interest of the class, and not to profit the firm bringing it to court. Last I checked, in North America, class action lawsuites are generally filed when the is a high enough statistical chance of some form of judgement or ruling, not when it is a fair lawsuite.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

If anyone's going to sue I'd expect it to be those who are entirely prevented from using the device.  Like people who need wheelchairs.  Or people who are too out of shape (read "morbidly obese") to play for more than a minute.

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Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

You know I'm in a wheelchair but it'd never occur to me to sue over something like this. But then Scotland is a less litigious than the US. 

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

Hasn't this happened basically every time some company comes out with a facial recognition thing, I remember there was a story with a camera thinking Asian/Oriental people had their eyes closed.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

This is kind of a recurring problem with this kind of tech it seems. My camera has face recognition, and it's very inconsistent with dark skinned subjects - sometimes even a deep tan will throw it off. I've seen pictures online showing how cameras with blink detection will occasionally detect asian faces as blinking.

Re: GameSpot: Problems with Kinect and Dark-Skinned Users

I actually find this incredibly amusing.  Apparently Avenue Q was right; everyone is just a little bit racist.  :)

 
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Matthew WilsonI know most of my friends first saw robotech when it was on Toonami in the mid 90s, but it is possible that a fan who watched it in the 80s are in a position to do it.03/27/2015 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenRobotech was mid 80s. Fans of the show (who were kids when it aired) are my age and older.03/27/2015 - 1:01pm
Matthew Wilsontiming. anime only really became widely known in the US in the mid 90s. if we assume it was mostly kids watching it, they still wouldnt be high enough in managment to be given full creative control yet. it would still be another 5 to 10 years for that.03/27/2015 - 12:59pm
Andrew EisenI agree. Now what makes you think that there is no one in power who cares about (or has the ability to) make a good adaptation?03/27/2015 - 12:47pm
Matthew Wilsonits not about pratice, it is about people who understand it getting in to positions of power.03/27/2015 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonallot of the comic book characters that have been turned in to good movies started in the 70s or earlier.03/27/2015 - 12:32pm
Andrew EisenWell, if it really does take two generations of practice to get it right, we'll never get good live action adaptations of anime if no one starts making them.03/27/2015 - 12:31pm
Andrew EisenWhat have you seen that would make you say that?03/27/2015 - 12:30pm
Matthew WilsonIt took 2 genarations of comic book reader before we got good comic book movies. I imagine that will be the case for anime as well.03/27/2015 - 12:28pm
Matthew Wilson@AE yes if they have people that understand the content give it a shot, but as far as I can tell that does not look like it is happening in this case.03/27/2015 - 12:26pm
Andrew EisenI understand the skepticism but I don't think "this will never work" and "no one should even bother" are very healthy attitudes.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Andrew EisenWhy would you doubt that? A lot of writers are my age and older, the perfect age to be fans of the content. All I'm saying is it's not impossible to get a good Robotech movie. In fact, it's more likely today than any other time.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - It's true, there are a lot of examples of crap adaptations. But there are increasing numbers of great adaptations such as the Marvel movies. That said, it's certainly going to be an uphill battle at Sony, especially with Tom Rothman around.03/27/2015 - 10:45am
ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
ZippyDSMleeYes Macross is good..... robotech....not so much..... Now Pizza Cats that's the definitive TV dub, if not best dub ever I'd put it up there with COwboy Bebop just becuse the Pizza Cats dub is fun as heck and crazy,Medabots and Fighting Foodons are decent.03/27/2015 - 9:20am
InfophileAged well plot-wise, I mean. The animation is showing its age, but if you don't mind that, the plot holds up quite well03/27/2015 - 6:52am
InfophileRobotech may be 30 years old, but it's actually aged pretty well. Plus, one of the three Japanese franchises that went into making it, Macross, is coming out with a new series soon. So it's far from forgotten or out-of-date03/27/2015 - 6:50am
 

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